13 … behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod.
19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” 21 And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. 23 And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth …
Like any new parent, Joseph’s life gets chaotic after the birth of his child.
But unlike any new parent, this “chaos” is a tyrant king seeking to murder his newborn.
The young family had to flee to a distant foreign nation.
They stay there until the King’s death.
Then they travel back, only to have to still seek out safety in yet another city.
Each move, however, was fulfilling ancient prophecies.
All of this … It was all part of a much bigger plan.
Who said life gets easier when you say “yes” to God?
That would come as quite a shock to Joseph.
Joseph said “Yes” to God and his life became unbelievably more complicated.
For example …
Facing shame from a community for having a pregnant wife to be.
Pregnant, by the way, right before they have a mandatory long travel to yet another city.
Therefore arriving late to the city and having to stay in an animal stall.
Giving birth in that stall.
Going on the run to a place your forefathers were slaves because the most powerful guy in the city wants your kid dead.
Returning to yet more risks.
And, oh by the way, apparently dying rather young, because your son, (with his dying last breaths from a cross), has to ask his friends to take care of his widowed mother!
And all this, after all this obedience to God and raising the child who would save the world, … you become basically an afterthought in Bible, mentioned just a handful of times.
Life gets easier when you say “yes” to God? HA!
Whoever says or thinks this has ignored the life of every hero in the faith we admire in God’s Word.
I think these heros knew life was something bigger, something grander than “easy living”.
When I reduce life to simply “don’t do bad stuff” or “God wants me to be happy”, I’m belittling the “Kingdom of God” to the “Kingdom of Me”.
I settling for a version of “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism” …
“Do good and feel good” and then God will make life “better” for you.
I think Joseph knew his life was not about his life.
As a believer in Jesus the King, I’m not to live for me.
I’m not to live a biography.
A biography points to self.
I’m to live a testimony.
A testimony points to someone else … namely Jesus Christ.
Thank you Father again for your Word.
Help me live the simple obedience of Joseph.
And help me understand that doesn’t mean life will be simple.
It may, in fact, be hard.
But help me know you are Emmanuel, God With me.