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Posts Tagged ‘obedience’

This time of year, I ponder on Joseph.  In pondering Joseph, I also think of Adam.  Soon, I think of all godly men.  And, I thank God.

Joseph loved Mary and had asked her to be his wife.  But, the plans he had in mind were changed.  Ruined.  Unchartered territory lay ahead.  At a precarious moment in his life, Joseph had nothing to hang on to… nothing, that is, except the Word of the Lord.

The Word gave Joseph courage.  “Don’t be afraid!”  It was the Word that showed Joseph how to be faithful.  “Take Mary as your wife.  She will give birth to a son, and you will name Him Jesus” (Matthew 1:20-21).

Perhaps, in holding on to the Word, Joseph remembered the experience of his ancester, Adam.  Perhaps, in a moment of truth and with eyes focused, Joseph could picture Adam standing next to his wife, Eve.  Perhaps, with wisdom only from the Holy Spirit, Joseph recognized the significance of Eve’s creation by God from man’s rib.  And, perhaps, with discernment only from God, Joseph understood that he must not repeat the sin of his ancestor and do to his rib what Adam had done to his.

Perhaps, in remembering what Adam had failed to do, Joseph was given the courage to cover his wife, Mary, and lead her to safety.  Let the village talk.  Tweak carefully-made plans.  Trust the Word of the Lord.  Although it meant leaving his zone of comfort, Joseph did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him to do.  He covered his rib by taking Mary as his wife.  And, when Mary’s child was born, Joseph named Him Jesus.

God wanted Joseph to make a difference — a difference that would impact the world.  But such a difference could only be made by being faithful.

Convenience told Joseph to walk away from Mary.  Self-defense told Joseph to think of “number one.”  Pride told Joseph that he could do better.  Fear told Joseph to hide.  But, God told Joseph not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife.  Through all the frightening days ahead, Joseph remembered the Word of the Lord.  And the Lord did not forget Joseph.  When danger lurked near, the angel of the Lord warned Joseph.  When uncertainty abounded, the angel of the Lord directed Joseph.

Life was never the same for Joseph.  It wasn’t what he planned.  But, in remembering the Word of the Lord and trusting it, Joseph was used by God to impact all people of all cultures for all time.  Some 2000 years later, the Boy who grew to be a Man in the house of Joseph is still changing lives.

(Excerpted from “Joseph & His Rib” by L. Bartlett.

Tract available from LFL or CPH.)

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