Wednesday, December 2, 2009

First Week of Advent, Day Four

Week 1 Day 4: Matthew 1:18-24

As [Joseph] considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”
When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife.
Matthew 1:20-24 (NLT)

Put yourself in Joseph’s situation. The woman, girl really, who he is betrothed to has become pregnant. This isn’t just his girlfriend or fiancé. Betrothal was equivalent to a marriage relationship in the year prior to marriage. This was a binding, permanent commitment. This was also an abstinent relationship. Now, she is pregnant, and he knows the baby is not his.

Imagine the public humiliation. Imagine the pressure from his family. Imagine the pressure from Almighty God. What was going on in Joseph’s mind? We don’t know. Joseph’s words were never recorded in Scripture. But, we do know what he did.

“When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife.” It was as simple as that in a complicated situation. Joseph recognized that something greater was at work here.

In fact, once again, we read the Lord’s words through the prophet Isaiah that were spoken to Ahaz, “The virgin will conceive a child!”

Joseph found himself obeying God and entering the center of a potential scandal. Why? It was God’s will for him.

Have you found yourself in a complicated situation? Have you faced a circumstance that you never asked for or even caused? It’s easy to relegate the problems of life into the category of “not God’s will.” But, God never promised that everything would always go well for us. He did, however, promise “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you” (Hebrews 13:5; cf. Deut. 31:6, 8).

God is with you. He hasn’t abandoned you. Where do you need to recognize His presence today?

Copyright © 2009 by Allen White

All Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation. Copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.


  1. It is hard to think that in tough situations God is still in control. It isn't until I am out of the situation that I can look back and see He was present the entire time. I read your posting earlier today, and because of that I was spicifically looking for His presence today. Guess what? He revealed Himself to me! Crazy how that happens! When we look, He shows up!

  2. That's awesome. Thanks for sharing that. It's great to hear of how God is working in your life.

    I've reached a point that I believe that every negative thing is either a lesson to learn or a spiritual attack. I'm trying to learn the lessons more quickly. While the spiritual attacks are never enjoyable, the remedy is simple: draw near to God and the enemy will flee.