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A Righteous Man
“Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a Son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because He will save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:19B-21
A song from my younger days; based on Psalm 37:23, says:
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and He delighteth in His word.
The psalmist was not talking about Joseph but, as the old adage says, “If the shoe fits, wear it.”
Joseph of Nazareth’s life was going along smoothly. A carpenter, pledged to a lovely young woman, he was highly regarded as a righteous man from the lineage of King David. The future looked bright but, only God knew, his beliefs were going to be shaken and his purpose in life was going to be turned upside down. His bride, Mary, told him that she was pregnant but still a virgin; her child was fathered by the Spirit of God. Huh? Jewish law permitted Joseph to have her stoned, as her pregnancy proved infidelity and a breach of promise. He loved her and decided instead to send her away where no harm would come to her or her baby. God had other plans; He sent an angel to Joseph as referenced in today’s passage.
As God willed, he married Mary and witnessed the wonders of the birth of the Messiah, Jesus’ dedication and the visit of the Wise Men in Bethlehem. Joseph prepared to return to Nazareth but God spoke to him in a dream and he fled to Egypt until God told them to return to Nazareth. He traveled to Jerusalem with Mary to commemorate the twelfth birthday of Jesus, as required under Jewish law. He was distressed when Jesus was not found with the family entourage and turned back to find Him in the Temple, studying with the Jewish teachers.
Joseph followed God’s commands; he was a righteous man, a loving earthly father to Jesus. He fulfilled his mission, training Jesus as a carpenter and instructing Him in the traditions, beliefs, and law of Judaism. His example guided Jesus in how to be a man of God and His responsibility as a firstborn son. Joseph’s life was not as he planned, but better. He and Mary were blessed, not only with being called of God to raise Jesus, but with children of their union and a good life. Although not detailed in the Bible, church history tells us that Joseph died before Jesus began His earthly ministry.
Ok, he was a good man but how does this relate to us? A simple message. Even if the call of God in your life turns all your plans upside down, be faithful to His call. Blessings are waiting on the path of God that you could never imagine!!
Father, Joseph is often the “overlooked” character of Jesus’ birth; teach us, by his example that Your way is always the right way. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
About the Author: Eleanor Gale lives in southern New Jersey. The eldest of six children from a close Christian family (41 & 2 on the way; 4 generations / country wide), her two children, their spouses and her two grandchildren are her greatest joys in life. Although she suffers from Chronic Lyme Disease, IBS, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes – she serves God as He calls her, where He calls her, when He calls her – all in His power and strength. @ 3/05 Eleanor Gale dma A Sister’s Hugs; ChIPS
Visit her website at http://home.comcast.net/~sistershugs.