An angel tells Joseph of Jesus’ birth – Matthew 1:18-25
In Matthew 1, we find the story of Joseph receiving the news of Jesus’ impending birth. Starting in verse 18, it says that Mary, his betrothed, was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit, before her and Joseph came together. Imagine the whirl of emotions Joseph must have experienced at the discovery of this highly unusual circumstance! Not wanting to publicly disgrace Mary, he contemplated a quiet divorce. At that moment, Joseph truly needed a word from the Lord!
After he had considered these things, an angel of God appeared to Joseph in a dream, bidding him not to be afraid to take Mary home as his wife, and assuring him what was conceived within her was from the Holy Spirit. The angel further instructed him to name the baby Jesus, because He would save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). Joseph woke up, and did as the angel had commanded – taking Mary home as his wife, and giving the child the name Jesus.
What can we learn from this story? First of all, just as God spoke to Joseph in his moment of need, so does God want to speak to us. When we call, He promises to answer (Jeremiah 33:3). In James 1:5 we are instructed, if we lack wisdom, to ask it of God, who gives liberally, and will not reproach us for our request. Our Heavenly Father wants to provide the wisdom we need in every situation we face. We simply must take the time to stop and listen for His voice.
Furthermore, through his dream, Joseph received from the Lord much-needed insight. Have you found yourself in a situation in which you didn’t know where to go or what to do, and needed a source of knowledge outside of yourself? In John 14:26, Jesus informs us that the Holy Spirit will teach us all things, and remind us of the words spoken by Himself. John 16:13 calls the Holy Spirit the Spirit of Truth, who will tell us things to come.
In situations when it feels like we are groping through the darkness of a lack of understanding, God will provide us with the wisdom and insight that we are in need of, enabling us to head in the right direction.
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel had commanded, in taking Mary home as his wife, and naming the baby Jesus. In the same manner, when God reveals something to us, it behooves us to follow His direction. He knows far more than we ever could, and He has our best interests at heart. He has good plans for us, that He wants us to walk out. When we yield to His guidance, we will find His wisdom to be vastly superior to our own, and His paths far better than the those we could forge for ourselves.
God can and will lead and guide us, if we will take the time to listen to Him. He will provide the insight we need to do what He’s called us to do. When we follow His direction, we will find it perfectly wise, and completely suited to our needs. Are you facing any perplexing circumstances or worrisome anxieties? Take them to God in prayer, and listen for His voice of guidance. Receive wisdom from your Heavenly Father today, and follow His leading in your life!