Reformed Grits

A man like Joseph
December 24, 2007, 3:00 pm
Filed under: Faith, Family, Life

I’ve been thinking of the Christmas story lately (SHOCK!  And at this time of year?)  and it occurred to me how hard it may have been to be Joseph.  Aside from the obvious fact that his fiancee was probably called ugly names and likely the scourge of her family for her "untimely" pregnancy, he had to stand strong against opposition we probably can’t imagine.  Every decision he made had consequences that were sovereignly ordained, many of which are set as examples for those of us who came behind. 
For instance, thinking of Jesus lying in the hay.  Why was he there (in earthly terms… I’m not talking about the spiritual ideas of sovereignty and providence.)?  He was put in a feed trough on itchy, scratchy hay because he took Mary who was ready to pop to another city, far away.  Now think with me for a minute… if today you were ready to give birth and all of a sudden your beloved said, "HEY!  I have a great idea!  Let’s go to, oh I don’t know, Pigeon Forge and let’s go on horseback and we’ll just stay at the first hotel we come to.  On Christmas!"  I know it’s not the same, but you would think he was crazy.  But Joseph didn’t have the option of crazy.  He just had to be obedient.  I can hear Mary’s mother now… "HE’S TAKING YOU WHERE?  There is NO way.  That man is an idiot!"  Can’t you hear the aunts and sisters…"I can’t believe she puts up with him.  He’s such a jerk!  How thoughtless and selfish that he makes her go with him." 

But Joseph played the man, never looking back, and as a result fulfilled many prophecies about where and how Jesus would be born. 

I know it probably was really hard on Mary to be submissive to Joseph when he did things like take her and her baby to a foreign country on the spur of the moment in the middle of the night   but evidently she obeyed.   Evidently she knew to trust that "righteous man"   and she was blessed and her son was saved through her obedience to his seemingly impulsive actions. 

I’m sure people talked about him in a bad light.  I’m sure he received lots of pressure to do different things.  I bet many people gossipped about him and spoke hatefully about him.  But Joseph listened to the Lord alone and obeyed him despite opposition and public opinion, probably even the advice and word of his own family. 

So here’s to hoping and praying that my boys grow up to be men like Joseph, and that my girls marry men like Joseph.  I don’t know how I will respond when they play the man, but if they are righteous I just hope that I butt out and let them obey God and seek His will for their families.