“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. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus… Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him’ And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt… But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, ‘Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.’ And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.” Matthew 1:20-25; 2:13-14,19-23
“And he will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;
the fear of the Lord is Zion’s treasure.” Isaiah 33:6
Joseph is a remarkable and enviable example of discernment and obedience to God’s voice and leading. He lived before the ministry of our Jesus, and of the Holy Spirit, but his ear was attuned to God, and when He spoke, Joseph responded immediately. His submission to his Sovereign, rather than leaning on his own understanding, kept him in the paths that fulfilled the holy prophesies and protected the life of our Savior. He also was aware of current events; he understood the times, and had a proper fear of the authorities in place and all their power wielded. He acted with wisdom. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Am I circumspect when God asks of me something uncomfortable, new, different, or do I willingly obey, trusting He is working out His larger plans for and through me? What makes me hesitate to trust my Lord, knowing His path is good? Are self-will, my own preferences, fear of failure, loneliness, discomfort, or the unknown precluding me from saying “yes” to all God calls me to do?
Lord, grant me the ears to hear Your voice, the mind to understand the times, and the will to obey You no matter what. Make me wise for such a time as this.