I am growing a newfound appreciation for Joseph, the husband of Mary.
In reading Matthew 2, we find the wise men leave after visiting the new family and Joseph gets another visit from an angel of the Lord. The angel delivers toÂ Joseph very specific instructions to leave there, flee to Egypt and to stay there until the angel tells him to return.
Now I don’t know how any of this strikes you. We need to look at this from a totally human perspective, as if we did not have the aid of our Scriptures.
Here is Joseph, in a very strange position with a woman who has given birth having never been with a man. Angels keep appearing to tell him what to do. Wise men come bearing gifts and worship the baby which has born to his wife. And now he is told by an angel to flee to Egypt, the very place where the Israelites had been delivered from hundreds of years previously, and he is to stay there with his family until the angel comes back to tell him he can return.
The question I ask … Seriously, what would your response be?
If I were Joseph, I might need some time to figure out if I was going crazy. We can so forget that this is epic.
And Joseph’s response?
“That night, Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death.” (verse 14, NLT)
Joseph did not hem and haw. He did not ask questions. He did not mapquest. He did not figure out all the details. That very night, he went. And he stayed.
This morning, I am praying for a heart like Joseph’s. I think we tend to overlook him and focus on Mary. But Joseph, well, he’s my man. He obeys immediately and he stays put. No questions asked. No argument. He’s not singing like Frank Sinatra, “I Did It My Way”. Nope.
He goes with what he has been told.
In the stillness, the reminder comes:
“Teach me your decrees, O Lord; I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding and I will OBEY your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart. Make me walk along the path of your commands,for that is where my happiness is found.” (Psalm 119: 33-36, NLT)
From Joseph, and these verses from Psalm 119, I am learning a few things:
- Obedience will root in our hearts as we are taught by the Lord.
- We must apply or practice His instructions daily.
- Only God can keep our wandering hearts on the path of His commands.
- It is only on His path that we will find happiness.
The question I am asking myself, and each of us is this … Are we truly obedient? Immediately? Are we currently in obedience? Or is there something the Lord has told us to do or change and we are resisting?
God requires obedience of us.
He will continue to give us instruction as we obey, one step at a time.
Somehow I now see Joseph as one truly happy man!