Summary: Living righteous in an unrighteous world.
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It is always easy to travel downstream than to travel upstream. It is easy to be living like the world than to live according to the word of God. How is you life? Are you living like the world or living according to the word of God? It needs courage and determination to travel upstream isn’t it?
There is a story of courage that took place in the very first Christmas. But it is a story we often miss because people’s Christmas focus is mostly around young mother Mary and her son, Jesus. Truly, that is the theme of Christmas. But do you know there is a man who stands silently next to the manger in the nativity scene? He is not even given a single line to speak! Then he disappears completely from history after the teenage years of Jesus. Joseph was the man to whom God entrusted the great task of protecting the mother and her child from the time Mary conceived Jesus to the life-threatening early years of his life. His name is Joseph of Nazareth.
Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son
18This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph. 19Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20But 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. 21She 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 1:24-25 24When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
I like Joseph. He doesn’t stand in the spotlight very long, & we don’t know a whole lot about his life, but Joseph was the kind of man God could trust to be strong in the midst of a crisis. He would stand for God. He went through all possible crises a man can go through but displayed great courage in those circumstances. The reason Joseph had such courage was because of his relationship with God: Joseph was a righteous man. Matthew 1:19 Because 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.
Qualities of Righteous Joseph.
1. Trust God at all times.
Joseph teaches us to trust God at all times.
Put yourself in his position. Joseph and Mary’s parents come with the proposal. They like each other and get engaged. As per tradition Joseph is working hard to earn a steady income. Once established, he will marry and bring Mary home.
Probably, all necessary arrangements are in progress and the wedding ceremony was soon to take place. Joseph dreamt of marrying and that they would settle down in Nazareth. He would continue on in his carpenter business, & they would live happily together ever after.
But then one day Mary sent him a whatsapp message, “Joseph, I am expecting a baby.” It must have hit him like a bombshell. He thought that Mary loved him as much as he loved her. But now, seemingly, she had been unfaithful to him. He knew the child was not his, & so the only conclusion he could reach was that Mary had been unfaithful to him.
According to the law, Mary should be stoned to death. But Joseph loved her so much that he didn’t want that. So he decided to divorce her quietly. As he was thinking about this, an angel came to Joseph in a dream and said, “Joseph, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” God was in turn telling Joseph, “Joseph I know you are confused. You do not know what is happening. Trust me, I am in this. You may not understand all that is happening, but just trust me & everything will be all right.”
Sometimes it is hard to live by faith, isn’t it? If God always does what we expect Him to do, if our breakthrough is on time, then maybe it’s easy to have faith. But when God doesn’t do what we expect, then it’s hard. See, Joseph trusted God. Even though he must have had a list of questions, he trusted God because he believed that God’s will was best.