Thursday, July 14, 2011

Following God's Directions

Men of the Bible Series - God communicates with Joseph through angels.

Matthew 1:18-21  The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After His mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. 19 So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly.

20 But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”

Matthew 2:13-15  After they were gone, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Get up! Take the child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. For Herod is about to search for the child to destroy Him.” 14 So he got up, took the child and His mother during the night, and escaped to Egypt. 15 He stayed there until Herod’s death, so that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled: Out of Egypt I called My Son.

Matthew 2:19-23  After Herod died, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Get up! Take the child and His mother and go to the land of Israel, because those who sought the child’s life are dead.” 21 So he got up, took the child and His mother, and entered the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned in a dream, he withdrew to the region of Galilee. 23 Then he went and settled in a town called Nazareth to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets, that He will be called a Nazarene.

This post is a continuation of the post from yesterday, I want to look at the four dreams that Joseph had and how he chose to be submissive to what God was telling him through the dreams.

First dream - Joseph was trying to decide what to do with the situation that had come up, would he have Mary put to death or would he just send her away quietly? Joseph probably thought that those were his only two options until he went to bed that night and received the news that he was to raise the child and accept him as his own.

Second dream - After the Magi left, Joseph had his second recorded dream where an angel visited him with a message from God. Joseph had to get his family to safety in Egypt.

Third and fourth dream- After some time in Egypt, God spoke to Joseph a third time in a dream, telling him that Herod was dead and that they could return home. Joseph did get a little bit concerned about the new guy in charge and he received instruction in a fourth dream to settle down in Nazareth.

God used Joseph's dream time to send his angels to give directions to Joseph. The first dream  was used to let Joseph know that it was God's will to establish this little family before he decided to walk away or worse yet to have Mary killed. The second, third and fourth dreams were used to keep them from harm.

God's method for communicating with us isn't usually angels these days, I haven't had any angels talk to me anyway, today he is more likely to use the Holy Spirit through prayer time or my Bible study.  I need to be ready to listen to God's will in whatever method that he chooses to deliver the message to me. 

Help me to be ready to listen and to be obedient when you speak Lord. I know that you have great plans for me that I need to hear about when you are ready to share them with me.

You might like to read: Men of the Bible blog series.