| The Swett family read Matthew 1:20-25 | the Covenant Praise Band sings O Come All Ye Faithful | Ben shares a meditation on obeying God immediately |
As he considered this [divorcing Mary], 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.
But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus. [Matthew 1:20-25]
Notice how quickly Joseph decided to change his life.
Mary was told what would happen to her. She would be given a child to carry, deliver and raise. She wasn’t asked for her opinion or permission. She didn’t have a choice.
Joseph was given a command as well, but by the nature of fatherhood, he had the freedom to choose to disobey that command. There would be no new life growing inside his body.
He could walk out the door and never look back.
There is no sense of hesitation though. Joseph went to bed having decided to divorce his unfaithful fiancé and woke up having decided to obey God.
And so we have the essential lesson here:
When God speaks, obey immediately.
Joseph didn't wait, he didn't put out a fleece like Gideon, he didn’t cast sacred lots, he didn't confer with friends, or seek confirmation from his spiritual advisors. God gave him a direction and when he woke up he did as the angel of the Lord commanded.
Father, help us to obey you immediately. While we recognize there are times we don't know the right way to go, there are many times we know the right way and simply put it off for a host of excellent reasons. Never let reason overrule obedience.