It’s hard not to admire Joseph.
After all, he could have walked away. Angels appearing in dreams? Who would have counseled him to believe Mary? Who would have blamed him for doing what he had determined to do–treat Mary better than she deserved and start over?
But Joseph determined to believe God and to man-up in the most beautiful way possible. Joseph chose to stay and serve God by serving Mary and Jesus.
Thank God for Joseph and for men like him.
Joseph was a man of action.
When God spoke though an angel in a dream, Joseph followed God’s direction (Matthew 1:18-25). The angel told him not to be afraid to take Mary home as his wife. Joseph listened to the counsel of God and took Mary as his wife. Who can imagine what this meant to Mary? Joseph protected her as God prepared him to raise the One known as Immanuel–God with us.
When God warned Joseph that Herod planned to kill the child, Joseph followed God’s direction, taking “the child and his mother” and escaping to Egypt.
Joseph could act and he could also wait on God. God told him to stay in Egypt until God told him otherwise (Matthew 2:13).
At the death of Herod, God told him to return to the land of Israel. Joseph again acted and followed God’s direction. When Joseph learned that Herod’s son Archelaus now reigned in the place of Herod the Great, Joseph moved back to Nazareth to avoid contact with this evil man (Matthew 2:19-23).
We hardly know anything else about this godly man. By the time Jesus began His earthly ministry, Joseph appears to have died.
But we know this. God entrusted His Son to Joseph, and Joseph was up to the task. He cared for Mary and the child and raised a family. When danger arose and action became necessary, Joseph acted.
God wants men to be obedient to Him and faithful in family relationships. He wants men who will love their wives by caring for their needs and taking action when action is called for.
Joseph gives us the example of a man who pleases God.
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