I have begun reading in Matthew, and usually when reading the story of Christ's birth, my admiration falls upon Mary who so self-sacrificially accepted the Lord's assignment for her life. However, this time, my eyes kept coming back to the Scripture in Matthew 1:19:
"Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly."
Joseph had every right, under the Jewish understanding of the Mosaic Law, to make the divorce a public matter. However, he chose to "put her away secretly."
Imagine how Joseph would be feeling. Imagine how you would feel. He must have experienced devastating feelings of betrayal and loss. Even consider the slam to his ego and self-confidence.
Many would strike back in anger and revenge, so blinded from the hurt and from the sting of embarrassment.
Yet Joseph was "a just man."
We can tell from this one little verse that the Lord God had chosen a gracious and humble man for the earthly father of His Son. When Joseph could have opted for anger, maliciousness, revenge, and pride, he submitted to graciousness, kindness, and humility.
How we can ever apply this in our own lives. How many times do we react in the flesh to seemingly unfair life circumstances instead of humbling ourselves like Joseph and showing graciousness and mercy?
No, at this point Joseph did not have all the facts, but when he did receive the revelation from the Lord, he responded in faith and obedience:
"But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins. . . . . . . .
Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS" (Matthew 1:20-21, 24).
How incredible for Joseph to be apart of God's redemption plan! I can't help but think of a verse my children and I memorized when learning Proverbs 3:
"The Lord mocks the mockers but is gracious to the humble" (v.34).
I pray that today and everyday I will be gracious and humble enough for the Lord to use me as He sees fit.
What about you?
In the Heart of our Home,