Day 3: God's Plan Will Not be Thwarted
Matthew 2: 13- 23
"...an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream'...Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." (Matthew 2:13)
"After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead." (Matthew 2 19- 20)
"So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene."
Take the time now to open up your very own Bible and read the full Scripture noted above- it will help understand today's insight better.
In today's reading we find that Joseph wasn't just given one dream from the Lord, but three! Joseph was given a total of four dreams from God in his lifetime- 1) A dream to marry Mary, 2) a dream to flee to Egypt, 3) a dream to tell him all is safe and to head to Israel, and 4) a dream to settle in Nazareth. Joseph obeyed it all. But what I noticed this morning is the verse, "But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod he was afraid to go there."
Who was afraid?
Joseph was afraid.
He had, had three dreams from God already in his lifetime. They were all proven to be true and yet with this fourth dream he was afraid to obey it. The third dream clearly wasn't enough for Joseph to jump up and obey. So what did God do? He gave him another dream..."Having been warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth." (vs.23)
God is working with mere imperfect humans. Sometimes we become too afraid to obey. We see the 'Archelaus' in our lives and we fret. We withdraw. We pull back. We think, "God, I just can't do this. God, I don't think you see what I see. I see 'Archelaus' and he's worse than anything I've had to face. I just can't go forward." We get too afraid to obey God. The God who sees EVERYTHING and knows EVERYTHING- we fail to trust Him.
So, what did God do for Joseph? He gave Joseph another dream. He told Joseph to settle in Nazareth. Whew! Joseph was good with that and obeyed. They were all safe. Done! But what struck me was Joseph didn't mess up God's plan. God knew Joseph was going to be too afraid to obey. God knew it all along and wasn't surprised by it. How do I know? "So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene." Hundreds of years before Joseph was ever born, prophets spoke the words of God, wrote it down, that declared the Messiah, Jesus, was to be called a Nazarene.
God knows what He is working with. He sees and knows it all and in some way He can orchestrate everything and make it all come out perfect. So, you ask, "Well, why isn't my life perfect then?" Well, I'll ask you something in return - Do you obey God perfectly? Do you wait on Him in your fears, as Joseph did, before making decisions and forging ahead? Probably not. I know, -I don't obey perfectly either. So, when we don't obey, and we stay on our own path, and continue to not listen to God, how can we expect to see His perfect plan for our lives show up? We can't. Are we hopeless? NO. NEVER. God is ever forgiving. We can humble ourselves and repent. We can ask Him to bring us back onto His path and He WILL do it. We are never lost to God- ever! He is always searching for ways to speak to us, and bring us back to His heart and His perfect plan for our lives. Why? Because He loves us that much!
Go forth today knowing that the God of the universe, the God who holds the stars in their place, the God who knows the beginning and the end LOVES YOU and He has a perfect plan for your life. Be patient. Wait to hear His voice. Obey Him. Blessings on a great day of freedom!