Friday, December 2 – Matthew 2:19-23
But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, and said, “Get up, take the Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel; for those who sought the Child’s life are dead.” So Joseph got up, took the Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Then after being warned by God in a dream, he left for the regions of Galilee, and came and settled in a city called Nazareth. This happened so that what was spoken through the prophets would be fulfilled: “He will be called a Nazarene.”
Have you ever planned a long journey and discovered along the way that, while you may have been right in the big picture, several of the details changed unexpectedly? You may have planned to go to a college with a particular roommate and graduate with a specific degree in four years only to change roommates and majors several times before graduating six years later. You were right in the big picture, but the journey looked different than expected.
This is the place where Joseph seems to have found himself as he followed God in bringing Jesus back to the land of Israel. He’s trusted God along the journey, so when God told him where to go next but didn’t give him all the details, Joseph still obeyed. But as Joseph proceeded in the way he believed was best, God revealed how his plan needed to change. There were probably ways Joseph expected God to work that turned out differently. Yet, this never changed his heart for obedience every step of the way.
Joseph’s story is one that should encourage us to embark on a journey of discipleship, on which we continue taking steps of obedience throughout our lives. The more we learn to walk in step with God’s Spirit through obedience, the more we will be able to discern when something isn’t quite right and the journey needs to change.
- How do you feel when God works differently than you expect?
- When has God worked in different ways than you expected that ended up being greater in the end?
- Pray and ask God to help you continue your obedience to Him with a heart of discernment for when He is leading