Night Appearances IV: Revealing Ascendence

“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. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 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. 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  and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I called my son.'” Matthew 1:18-25; 2:13-15

Imagine Joseph’s shock when his betrothed (fiancée) informed him she was pregnant, and instead of trembling in fear or guilt, exhibited an overweening serenity and joy. ‘How could this be? What should I do? Would it be the best protection for our reputations to quietly put away my beloved?’ And into this night of bewilderment, God almighty appeared. None of this was too hard or beyond Him. In fact, all was occurring according to His predetermined, glorious will.

The Lord who had promised this child, and miraculously overseen His conception by the Holy Spirit, was supreme over His every breath and day. He would order the Messiah’s comings and goings. He would not strand these parents, but guide them with exactness and perfect care, step by unknown step. (Psalm 32:8; 121:8; 139:5).

Where have we been confounded with the unexpected, and known not how to proceed? What is the proper reaction, or should we act at all? When finding ourselves in an emotional quandary, we can expect the Lord to show up and teach us the next best step. At each obedience, we will find Him faithful to reveal the next.

Would we trust that the Lord is supreme over all things, and nothing is too hard or wonderful for Him? We may not see or understand the future He is writing, but we can trust He is, and well. (Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:27)

Father, help me trust that You are above and beyond all I can comprehend, working everything for Your glory and the good of Your people. (Romans 8:28)

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