Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
Joseph was stressed.
Joseph listened to the Lord – through the angel.
Joseph believed the Lord.
Joseph was obedient.
I’m sure with much angst, he considered divorcing Mary quietly so that he could follow the law with as much compassion for Mary as possible. But through being still and listening for God, and then obeying the Lord ahead of the law, he was obedient.
It kind of is that simple sometimes. No matter how stressful things seem, we need to be still and listen to the Lord. Then, when we hear from the Lord we need to believe and be obedient.
This has to be among the ten most stressful things – to know that you have not been with the woman you are about to marry, and see her pregnant. I’m not sure where this formula came from but it goes like this.. e + r = o, which is Event + Reaction = Outcome. Meaning, a person’s reaction to any event will help determine the outcome. I’d say that through the Lord, Joseph’s Reaction to the Event in front of him definitely created an Outcome that may have been entirely different had he reacted in another way. Personally, this is a challenge I face many times a day.. how to react to a situation that doesn’t seem right. How to honor God in my reaction. Pray about it, listen for the Lord, and be guided by the Holy Spirit and His will will be done.
Lord I love you. Thank you for sending Jesus to die for my sins. Thank you for giving me wisdom and yes, even patience when I really need it. I pray I listen, believe, and glorify you in obedience as I trek through this life. In Jesus’ mighty name I pray. Amen.