January 3

Text: Matthew 1:24, 25

 And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took her as his wife, and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus. (NASB)

Foot dragging!  Oh, the problems procrastination creates!  Even in the God-human relationship, procrastination is significant.  It is amazing how often the Bible indicates that an obedient person (upon understanding what God wanted) responded to Godís desires promptly.  When understanding occurs and the person prolongs hesitation, his/her obedience often is half-hearted at best.

Joseph understood!  He also believed!  Mary was pregnant, and the child she carried was the result of Godís involvement through the Holy Spirit, not a result of her unfaithfulness.  That is a lot for a man to believe!  (I imagine Maryís character contributed significantly to his ability to believe.)  He understood and he acted promptly!

Do not disrespect Josephís belief and actions by suggesting he did not know what was involved in conceiving an infant.  Nor take away from his faith by suggesting that virgins frequently had a child through Godís involvement.  Joseph understood the incredible had happened, and he trusted (at cost to himself) an unusual happening. 

The significance was found in this fact: He trusted an incredible explanation.  Whether he believed or not, the truth was the sameóGod acted.  His willingness to trust concerned him, not the truth of the situation.  The primary matter at issue was his blessing, not the truth of the situation.  The principle of obedience commonly is more about us than the truth of the matter.  If we can put the spotlight on the matter by questioning the truth, we often seek to avoid an unwanted responsibility.

Suggestion for reflection: A part of placing trust in God is believing the incredible.  (See Genesis 17:9-27.)

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