20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the Child who has been [k]conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a Son, and you shall name Him Jesus (The Lord is salvation), for He will [l]save His people from their sins.”
What would you do if the girl you were betrothed to told you that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit? I am sure you would think “What kind of fool does this woman think I am?” That was Joseph’s story. God had chosen him to be the earthly father of Jesus but as good as it sounds, the privilege came with challenges and possible rejection.
Mary was betrothed or promised in marriage to Joseph but she was found to be with child. I would have loved to eves drop on the conversation between Mary and Joseph when Mary was disclosing that she was pregnant but by the Holy Spirit. That discussion did not go well and Joseph being the just man that he was, sought to divorce Mary quietly so as not to put her to shame. That tells you about Josephs character and the kind of man that he was. God had to intervene and Joseph is visited by an angel in a dream and given specific instructions that confirmed what Mary had told him. This is an encouragement to me that as I walk with the Lord, I may miss it but as long as my heart is in the right place, God will direct me.
Three times an angel of the Lord appears to Joseph at specific times and in all three instances he gives Joseph instructions on what he is to do. The lesson we learn from Joseph is the importance of obedience. It is said that delayed obedience is disobedience. Joseph was prompt to take action without hesitation once directed by the angel of the Lord and in doing so the life of the baby Jesus is preserved. WOW, think about that, the safety of the baby and the mother became the responsibility of Joseph, in fact Mary only got one visit by the angel Gabriel but Joseph as he walked in obedience got 3 visitations.
Obedience, submission and humility, those are some of the key lessons we can glean from Joseph in the Christmas story.
Would you be willing to raise a child that is not your own?
How quick are you to obey Gods leading and direction?
Has God ever redirected your path because you were about to miss it yet your heart was in the right place? What happened?