Monday, December 15, 2014
Monday Morning Devo - Advent: Prayers: Joseph
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus. (Matthew 1:18-25 NKJV)
In Jewish tradition, a betrothal was as binding as a marriage; the only way you could end a betrothal was by divorce. And if a woman was released from her betrothal (divorced), people usually assumed the worst--that she had gone to bed with another man. It would have been considered adultery, a crime punishable by stoning to death.
Joseph really didn't want that to happen to her. He was one of the nice guys, through and through. But he also didn't want to marry her and raise her child. What could he do?
He must have fallen asleep, because the angel of God spoke to him in a dream.
There was an alternate to the formal method of marriage. I'm not sure why Joseph chose the alternate (unless it was per the angel's instructions)--they were already betrothed, and they could have had the formal, one-week ceremony. Instead, it appears he took her into his house as his wife.
It doesn't talk here about what Joseph said in his prayer, but it's obvious he must have prayed. Have you ever been in a quandary, not knowing that to do, which way to go? So you pray, "Lord, what can I do?"
Almighty Father, You know all things. When we are troubled and don't know what to do, help us make the wise decision, the one You would make. The one that will further Your will and not our own. The decision that will make a difference for the better. Thank You, precious Lord. In Jesus Name and For His sake. Amen.