December 28, 2015

Matthew 2:13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

This section, from this verse to the end of the chapter, is really focused on Joseph. It shows that he was as human as the rest of us, with normal fears, but it also shows that he was committed to obeying God, regardless of his fears. That’s a pretty good example for us to follow! It is interesting that Joseph the son of Jacob, way back in Genesis, was also a dreamer who heard from God and who understood what dreams meant. Both of them were unwavering in their commitment, being obedient to God regardless of the consequences. In this particular case, God had provided materially for the young family through the magi. We don’t know quantities, but it is possible the gold they brought was sufficient to support the family for a couple of years, even. That said, fleeing to Egypt in the middle of the night was hardly an easy thing to do, and the specific information that Herod was going to try to kill Jesus was a strong motivator. As they say today, it was a “credible threat.” Joseph was obedient, and was again obedient when God told him to go back. Just recently I read something that made a lot of sense. Joseph would have liked to go back to Bethlehem, because there people didn’t know Mary had been pregnant before marriage, but God used Joseph’s fear of Herod’s son to overcome his fear of people’s opinions in order to get him back to Nazareth. God knows our weaknesses and failings, and sometimes He even uses those to accomplish His purposes!

I’ve not been much of a dreamer, but I have learned to hear God through His Word. The question is, have I been obedient to what I have heard? I can say definitely that my obedience hasn’t been perfect; I’ve also had to learn repentance. I need to learn from Joseph not to bemoan my weaknesses but rather give them, too, to God for His use. Yesterday, with my back hurting, I did better at delegating than I usually do. It’s not entirely pleasant for God to have to place physical restraints on me to get me to grow! I need to keep my ears tuned to Him at all times, not being passive but actively seeking His will and applying myself to do it, whatever that means for me. Everything that I have comes from Him, so I need to keep it all at His disposal, to do His will on His schedule for His glory.

Father, thank You for all You did yesterday, and for getting us through it. Thank You that it was the last major item in the busyness of the season. Help us relax and recuperate as we need to, but in no way slack off from seeking and following You. May we spend each moment of each day as You desire and intend, so that Your will may be done in Your way, for our blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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