Dave spoke this evening on Joseph, looking at the angel’s words to him in Matt 1:18-25 TNIV. Matthew’s Gospel shows us the fulfilment of the Old Testament prophecies, but we also see in this account a very personal story. It is important for us to understand that the events we read about in the Bible happened to real people who experienced the same emotions as we do, and therefore we can learn much from their situations.
The angel told Joseph not to be afraid. He was in an impossible situation. His fiancee was pregnant and not by him! He must have felt so confused and bewildered, wanting to trust Mary but finding her story frankly unbelievable. He was a righteous man who did not want to publicly humiliate Mary, but at the same time he knew that he could not ignore the problem. He could have been justified in exposing her to others, but he also knew compassion and kindness.
The dilemma he was facing was not resolved by his mulling it over again and again. When we face impossible situations, we often dwell on them and try to find solutions, but the only thing we can do is commit the situation to God in prayer and think about all that is good. (Phil 4:6-8 TNIV) Into this situation, the angel’s words showed him that he had no need to fear, but still he had to come to terms with a truth that had never before happened in history! We may think we would be reassured if an angel appeared to us, but often we are in exactly the same position, having heard God’s word but finding it difficult to believe. Our challenge is to allow God’s word to us (‘Do not be afraid’) to take hold in our hearts, for ‘nothing is impossible with God.’ (Luke 1:37 TNIV)
Joseph accepted the truth of the angel’s words and married Mary. He must have been awed at his role in bringing up the Son of God, but he accepted the challenge. We too will be amazed at what God can do in our lives if we accept and believe His word.
‘Joseph’s Song’, Michael Card