Behold the Lamb: While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night

Track 1: Gather Round, Ye Children, Come
Track 2: Passover Us
Track 3: So Long Moses
Track 4 & 5: Deliver Us & O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Track 6: Matthew’s Begats
Track 7: It Came to Pass
Track 8 & 9: Labor of Love & The Holly and the Ivy

The last several tracks on the album play without a break between them. Today we’ll look at two of them. The first, While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night, is actually a new melody composed for old lyrics. The lyrics, which tell the story of Luke 2:8-21, were written in 1700 by Nahum Tate, and have been set to many different tunes over the years (to see why it’s so easy to set some lyrics to many different melodies, check out this article I wrote recently on the Worship Ministry blog; this hymn is also in common meter). The great composer George Frederic Handel (of Messiah fame) wrote the melody that is likely familiar to most of us.

Peterson’s arrangement of the hymn text is followed by the album’s title track, Behold the Lamb of God. The first two lines come from John 1:29 and John 1:4, respectively. This song is the culmination of everything that has come before, just as Jesus is the answer to every one of God’s promises (2 Corinthians 1:20). The baby that the shepherds visited was the final and perfect Passover lamb we heard about in Passover Us. He is the promised Davidic king as well as the suffering servant sung of in So Long Moses. He is the promised Redeemer hoped for in Deliver Us. He is Emmanuel that has come!

Enjoy, and be blessed!

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night

While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
all seated on the ground,
the angel of the Lord came down,
and glory shone around.

“Fear not,” said he, for mighty dread
had seized their troubled mind;
“Glad tidings of great joy I bring
to you and all mankind.

“To you, in David’s town, this day
is born of David’s line
a Savior, who is Christ the Lord;
and this shall be the sign:

“The heavenly Babe you there shall find
to human view displayed,
all meanly wrapped in swathing bands,
and in a manger laid.”

“All glory be to God on high
and on earth be peace;
good will henceforth from heaven to me
begin and never cease.”

Behold the Lamb of God

Behold, the Lamb of God
Who takes away our sin
Behold the Lamb of God
The life and light of men
Behold the Lamb of God
Who died and rose again
Behold the Lamb of God who comes
To take away our sin

Broken hearts–behold our broken hearts
Fallen far–we need you
Behold the sin of man

Chorus

Son of God–Emmanuel
Son of Man–we praise you
Behold the Lamb
The hope of man
Behold the Lamb of God

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