A Just man
“Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.” Matthew 1:19
Joseph was a righteous and compassionate man. Although he was within his rights according to the law, he did not want to disgrace or humiliate Mary when he found out she was with child. He made the decision to call off the marriage, but before he could do it, God sent an angel to him to give him the message that Mary was carrying the Christ child, the Messiah. Even though Mary probably told him what had happened, it was too far out there to believe. What a relief it must have been for Mary when Joseph came and told her the message the angel brought to him and that he would be there to help and protect her and the baby Jesus.
It goes without saying how great a step of faith it was for Joseph. We can look back now and see that it all worked out. However, as it was happening, they didn’t know how it was going to be. Even though God sent His messengers to both of them and they had the prophecy in the scriptures to cling to, I know there was still plenty of opportunity to be anxious and worried about being responsible for God’s Son. Joseph, accepting the news of Mary’s condition, was only at step number one in a long nine-month period of faith and trust in what God was doing. Mary and Joseph submitted their lives to God and allowed Him to complete all that was in His heart to do.
I want to make note of Joseph’s response and reaction to the news Mary brought to him. She had been gone for three months to visit her relative Elizabeth and when she returned, she came back with the news that she was carrying the Son of God. Joseph didn’t freak out at the news (although I’m sure the thought crossed his mind) he carefully considered the best way to proceed. When he finally decided to handle things in a way that wouldn’t shame Mary, that’s when God’s angel showed up. He never had to take that tough step of breaking the engagement with Mary. They were able to be married and Joseph provided for and protected his new family. He was a man full of God’s grace and love. God knew exactly what He was doing when He placed His Son in the care of this faith filled couple.
Today I want to encourage you when making tough decisions or when you are under pressure to choose a path, to first of all, don’t freak out, but rather wait on God. God will show up and help you to step out in the right direction. If you are unclear what the next step might be, don’t move until you are sure you are moving in the direction that God has planned for you to go. God will always make the way plain and clear, it’s up to us to wait for the plan and not rush into anything. Be that person of faith and trust that God has the perfect plan to see you through any dilemma.
Today’s scripture reading: Matthew 1:18-25