December 30, 2017
TEXT: But when he (Joseph) heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. (Matthew 2:22)
This is the time of year when we think about change-changes we want to make in our lives and changes that may come to our lives in the new year, whether we like it or not. And we may have decisions to make-choices about work or school, choices that affect our finances or our health. As we struggle to make plans, we often wonder: Is this what I'm supposed to be doing? What does God want for me and my family?
We can see Joseph dealing with these questions too. First, he had to decide what to do about a fiancée who was carrying a child not his own. God cleared that question up by sending him an angel in a dream.
Then census time came, and Joseph and Mary had to decide whether she should travel during her last month of pregnancy. That must have been a tough one! And yet God seems to have left them to decide based on nothing more than their own reasoning and the guidance of the Bible (that passage in Micah 5 about the Messiah being born in Bethlehem may have come to mind).
God sent an angel again to guide Joseph when Jesus' life was in danger from an evil king. But when it came time to return home from Egypt, Joseph had to figure out where to take his young family. Was it back to Bethlehem or somewhere else? Here again, Joseph relied on human wisdom which God later confirmed in a dream.
It would be nice if God sent us all an angel when we faced difficult decisions. However, most of the time He leaves us to make choices based on careful thought and prayer, under the guidance of the Bible. If you are facing a major decision right now, don't be afraid! Ask the Lord to guide you, and put your trust in Him. If God the Father was willing to guide His own Son's caregivers this way, He will also guide you when you ask.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, give me wisdom and guide me to the choices You want me to make. Amen.