The Bible is a book that contains actual history, and I think that is missed by some people when reading it. Some people are filled with a sense of awe when they open its’ pages and think that God Almighty is speaking directly to them. They are right in having a sense of awe, and I believe God uses His Word to speak to us in context. Absolutely, spot on, and yes I agree! However, I think sometimes this causes us to miss some of the real history that is within the pages of this ancient, yet ever so relevant, collection of texts. We need to always remember that the Bible contains real people, and a real God. The people are not just made up in the minds of the authors. They were born. They grew up, ate, slept, loved, and died. They experienced the exact same emotions that we do here in this world today, and we should not miss this.
One such human being that we will look at here is Joseph. Mary and Joseph were engaged to be married, and they were both preparing themselves for this next stage in their lives. Typically, the man would be getting the house built, or adding a room onto his father’s house for the new couple to live in. This was a time to take care of the necessities, but also a time of great anticipation much like in our culture today. Joseph is in this time of his life when the unthinkable happens. His soon to be bride ends up pregnant, and not by his doing. We have the benefit of hindsight here, but Joseph didn’t. The Scriptural account in Matthew 1:18-25 says that he already made his mind up about this huge problem. He was done. He planned on severing their relationship permanently, but not in a spiteful way. As a matter of fact, the text says he “was unwilling to put her to shame” (ESV) and was going to divorce her privately. Perhaps in an effort to spare her life from an angry mob that would inflict community justice upon her for violating the sanctity of their union.
In 1:20, the author writes: “But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. . .” (ESV) I imagine Joseph sitting down in the room that he has built for his family. His excitement to wed his fiancé has now turned to sadness. His dreams of holding his children, have now been put off by what he believes to be Mary’s indecent actions. I imagine he is not having a good day here, and finally drifts off to sleep. Then, in a dream, he meets an angel who tells him that Mary is not who Joseph is thinking that she is. She didn’t do it, God did. The angel also tells Joseph what kind of child she is carrying. She is carrying the savior of the world. Quite a significant sequence of events I would say.
When I think about the life of Joseph in this short passage about him, I think about his humanity. I think about his emotions in what he believed to be his betrayal, and then I think about how he just didn’t have all the information. This was an event that brought God Almighty into human form, yet he thought it was just his fiancé was a bit promiscuous.
While this situation is unique because there is only one Jesus Christ, I still think we can learn from Joseph’s life here. In our lives we can be in the midst of what appears to be betrayal, bad situations, and the like, but many times we just don’t have all the information. We don’t see the bigger picture when we focus all of our attention on ourselves and our own circumstances. I want to encourage you this week to remember that our God is bigger than our circumstances and even in the midst of them he can be working a great thing that may be totally unknown to us.
Sign up under the American Flag at the top right of this site or below on the mobile version to receive weekly written studies written to my brothers and sisters in arms by your brother in arms. The privacy of your email address is important to us and it will never be disseminated. Next, find some people who will hold you accountable for The Program and learn more about the God who created you, loves you and what He says about people who do what we do!
Matthew 1:20a – “But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of The LORD appeared to him in a dream. . .”