Joseph’s story inspires me in several ways. He was an ordinary carpenter, a working man, righteous in God’s esteem and used by God to complete His plan for bringing His Son to us. He was completely obedient to God’s directions-he did as the Lord commanded. He was compassionate as he respected Mary and sought to divorce her quietly not bringing further embarrassment because of her situation. Here is his back story of how this happened to him, Matthew 1:18-25.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
Where do we see God in this event? For sure God’s power and might are displayed in the angel and the dream. The choosing of the ‘right’ man for the job shows the knowledge of God and the exact timing of the events in the course of time-His sovereignty.
Today as I look at this I am struck by the Sovereignty of God. What does God’s sovereignty cover? God controls all things. There is nothing outside of God’s wise control, even the exact time and place for each person to live. No one tells God what to do. What God plans, happens. No event, not natural disaster, no person, not even Satan can stop God’s plans. God planned the time for His Son to come and He will return exactly as God plans in the future. Do you see sovereignty here? God chose the exact type of earthy father He desired for His Son-the right mother, the right home and time. He placed him with a compassionate, righteous father giving Him exactly what Jesus needed to grow in wisdom and truth to accomplish His plan for our redemption.
What about you? Do you trust wholly in God’s sovereignty? Do you believe that He has the right place, plans and purpose for your life? Joseph did not question God as He trusted in His wise judgement, plans and purposes for His life. He was obedient to God-no doubting of God’s plan or power like we saw in Zachariah when the angel appeared to him. No questioning of the incomprehensibility of the situation like Mary first did when the angel told her she would bear a son even though she was a virgin. No, Joseph’s obedience and acceptance of God’s plans for his life are impressive and humbling. He trusted totally in Sovereign God.
Pray about Joseph’s example today as you seek to make obedience, compassion and integrity a part of your character. God is sovereign and will lead you to serve Him exactly where He needs you to be. Trust Him and He will grow and develop your character.