Honor and obedience.
We live in a culture that is so dishonorable and so disobedient that I don’t think we fully have a grasp of the situation and times of Mary and Joseph.
In their day and culture, honor was everything. There was no corporate names to hide behind, no “spin”, no SBA loans or Government Backed loans. Who you were and what your name stood equated to your ability to earn a living. Without honor, you had no credit in the community. Without credit and trust in the community you had no income, no food, no shelter, no life.
When Mary turned up pregnant, Joseph was within rights to have her publicly humiliated, even to have her stoned. But being a righteous man he thought to divorce her quietly, so hopefully she could have some sort of life. The thought of marrying her would have been unthinkable.
But, then the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph. And what does he do? When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord commanded. period. No prenups, no discussion, nothing – he just obeyed.
Doing what I or those around me thinks is the right or best thing to do does not require obedience. Joseph’s obedience was tested in a way we have a hard time imagining. Again, he didn’t do it with his own will or might. He didn’t do it with his own thought. He just did it (sorry, Nike).
What if we woke each day with the obedience in mind to do what the Lord commands of us this day? What could God do with me with that?
As I look back, the times of greatest joy have not been when I have gotten my way, but when I trusted and followed God into areas of obedience that I did not think I was “the right person” to do or that I didn’t have strengths or skillsets or sometimes even desire to do. But waking up and doing what God commands is a really powerful and joyful trip!
i. He will crush your head and you will strike His heel
ii. Sceptor will not depart from Judah nor ruler’s staff from between his feet
iii. You are my son, today I have become your father
iv. Sign: virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel
v. For to us a child is born…
b. Matt 1: 23 = Isaiah 7:14
a.vs 24: When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord commanded
b. Accepting call to be a Children’s Leader in BSF. I did not have a passion for babysitting other’s children and thought I would be better with adults, but accepted the calling God had for me. The blessings have been amazing!!
a. This was huge – honor was everything in the community. This was life or death for Mary.
b. They alone gained the honor of loving and caring for the Christ child and living with God every day. Not since Adam and Eve had there been such intimacy with the Lord
c. Submission to take risks for the Lord always yields amazing rewards. Disobedience never does.