This morning our devotions focused on Jesus' early years AFTER his birth in the manger. We looked at his father Joseph, the often over-looked important figure in the nativity setting.
Matthew 2:13 – After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
Joseph quickly packed up their most precious belongings and moved to the foreign land of Egypt. They remained there for around 20 months until Joseph had another dream in which he was told these instructions:
Matthew 2:20– “Get Up!” the angel said. “Take the child and his mother back to the land of Israel, because those who were trying to kill the child are dead.”
Joseph was likely glad to return to him homeland where people would share his faith and speak his same language. So again they took their most precious belongings and obediently returned to the land of Israel.
What I love about Joseph is his obedience. Joseph’s communication from God comes mainly through angels in dreams. Each time Joseph responds quickly and obediently to the angel's instructions. He goes when and where he’s told to go. He remains there until further instructions are given. For all the time in the middle, he works as a carpenter to support Mary and Jesus. He remains faithful to God even though his life if very different than he had planned. When he asked Mary to be his wife Joseph had no way of knowing she would be the mother of the promised Messiah, that the baby would be born in a lowly manger, or that they would have to flee to Egypt for safety. All of this is quite overwhelming, but Joseph remains obedient each step of the way.
If Joseph could help Mary raise Jesus without knowing all the plans in advance, then we can take comfort in knowing God has a plan for our lives too, even if we don’t get to know all the details at the start of our journey.
As we get ready to enter 2019 may we be obedient to whatever God calls us to.