Matthew – Fulfilled
Can you think of times when God rescued you before you even knew you needed it? I can think of many times that decisions or solutions to problems were made that disappointed us at the time but later those redirections kept us out of danger or worse conditions. It happened as we looked for the right house to purchase for our family. It happened as we decided on job positions. There were also tragic situations that we avoided because God showed up and put a stop to it before it occurred. Obedience and trust has a lot to do with God showing up.
We are now back to Joseph in God’s Story Matthew narrates. The magi are gone. They left gifts of value for the family. Isn’t that just like God? God knows they will have to make a move and make it quickly. God guides. God provides.
God shows up by sending his angel to alert Joseph from sleep in a dream. The infant Jesus needs to be rescued. Joseph obeys immediately. Here is the key thought and message: God shows up. Joseph obeys. Sounds simple, but I’m sure his mind was reeling with gathering their things quickly and quietly so Mary, with a toddler in tow, could steal out of town in the middle of the night. Joseph is the man of the hour, our hero once again, chosen by God, in the line of David, to show us perfect obedience to God’s call.
Matthew 2, The Message
13 After the scholars were gone, God’s angel showed up again in Joseph’s dream and commanded, “Get up. Take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt. Stay until further notice. Herod is on the hunt for this child, and wants to kill him.”
14-15 Joseph obeyed. He got up, took the child and his mother under cover of darkness. They were out of town and well on their way by daylight. They lived in Egypt until Herod’s death. This Egyptian exile fulfilled what Hosea had preached: “I called my son out of Egypt.”
16-18 Herod, when he realized that the scholars had tricked him, flew into a rage. He commanded the murder of every little boy two years old and under who lived in Bethlehem and its surrounding hills. (He determined that age from information he’d gotten from the scholars.) That’s when Jeremiah’s sermon was fulfilled:
A sound was heard in Ramah,
weeping and much lament.
Rachel weeping for her children,
Rachel refusing all solace,
Her children gone,
dead and buried.
19-20 Later, when Herod died, God’s angel appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt: “Up, take the child and his mother and return to Israel. All those out to murder the child are dead.”
21-23 Joseph obeyed. He got up, took the child and his mother, and reentered Israel. When he heard, though, that Archelaus had succeeded his father, Herod, as king in Judea, he was afraid to go there. But then Joseph was directed in a dream to go to the hills of Galilee. On arrival, he settled in the village of Nazareth. This move was a fulfillment of the prophetic words, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”
Think about it…
–God shows up. Joseph, without hesitation, obeys.
–Jesus, the Savior of the world, is rescued because of Joseph’s obedience.
–Scripture is fulfilled because of the obedience of Joseph!
How quickly obedient am I…without question? Is it in direct proportion to my trust in God?
Dear Heavenly Father, Help me to be this quick to obey. Help us not to waste time by asking why, how, when or where, but just to obey. Help us to trust You more and realize that redirections might be our rescue.
In Jesus Name, Amen