Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Joseph, The Obedient Father

Joseph felt betrayed.  The woman who he’d known most of his life, his fiancé, was expecting a child.  He knew it wasn’t his.  What was he going to do.  Despite her betrayal, he couldn’t bring himself to shame her publicly as he ought.  No, he’d handle matters quietly, ending their engagement, and maybe someday, he wouldn’t be embarrassed in their community.

He then went to sleep and an angel of the Lord said that everything Mary said was true.  The child she carried was God’s Son.  Joseph was to take Mary as his wife.  He was to endure the suspicions of their community with her being with child before their marriage celebration.  He was to carry the weight of caring for God’s only Son.  He was to name Him Jesus.

Joseph did all that.  He took Mary with him to Bethlehem, for leaving her at home was not an option.  He stayed by her during the trip, concerned for she was due soon.  He search the whole city for a room to stay in.  He had no family in which to turn.  He found the only warm place for them, a cave.  The animals kept the small place warm. 

Joseph witnessed the birth, helped Mary along.  They wrapped Jesus in clothe and laid him in a manger.  He deserved better, but what could Joseph do?

Once the census was done, Joseph moved his small family into a home.  He left behind the home he had prepared in Nazareth.  He left behind the family business.  He waited until God told him what to do. 

Magi from the east came to worship his Son.  They gave gifts even he couldn’t imagine.  Now Joseph was a steward over God’s Holy Son and this large fortune given to his Son. 

Another dream warn Joseph to flee to Egypt.  Immediately he flees, thankful for the gifts to fund the trip.  They barely escape Herod wrath.  He’s sadden by the story that Herod kills all the young boys in the area in hopes of killing God’s Son.  Joseph trust God’s provision all the more.  God would protect them.  He would protect His Son. 

Joseph has another dream – go home.  He packed up his family and headed north.  Upon hearing the king’s son ruled, he took his fears to God.  Surely God intended His Son to be raised in Bethlehem.  Surely He planned to raise Him near the Temple.  Yet, no, God directed Joseph back to Nazareth.  A place despised among the Israelites.  A place no man would look for God’s Son.

On Joseph’s journey, he was obedient.  He was willing to give up his future plans – plans to be a carpenter, to marry Mary and settle down.  He gave up his home.  He gave up his business.  He gave up his reputation.  He went willingly into a foreign country. 

What plans do I need to sacrifice so that God can guide me?

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