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.” Matthew 1:18-21 ESV
Betrothals were as binding as marriage in Judea at the time of Jesus's birth. Once a couple became betrothed, it took a bill of divorcement to break the betrothal. The man Joseph was considered Mary's husband, and he had just found out she was with child--not his. She'd told him an angel had said the Holy Spirit was the Father.
A little hard to swallow, don't you think? Every Jewish girl since Isaiah's prophesy (Isaiah 7:14) had hoped she'd be the one. A few had probably claimed it before. No wonder Joseph had his doubts...and yet he didn't want to shame her. He looked for a way to put her away--divorce her--quietly.
But then Joseph had a dream, and the angel told him what to do. Now, I don't know if you have ever had a dream that you knew was from the Lord, but I have, twice. If it happens to you, you know. It lines up with scripture, it is vivid, and it is unforgettable. Joseph had no doubt but what this dream was the real thing. He rose from his bed and took Mary for his wife.
Prayer: Lord God, Thank You for dotting every "i" and crossing every "t" so that we would know the story is real. For Your glory and Your everlasting kingdom. I love You, Lord.