Advent 2012: Day

The angel of the Lord comes to joseph in a dream


Today's Text: Matthew 1:18-25

Text: Matthew 1:18-25

The story is coming together, just as promised! Years of sacrificing and wandering and prophesying and waiting are all coming to a head. Angels are making appearances all over town and God is calling His people – His precious, ordinary people – to do great things. The excitement is palpable. God Himself will soon make his grand (yet beautifully humble) entrance!

Of course, Joseph doesn’t know just how thick the plot is getting.

When I read this passage it makes me wriggle with excitement. I’ve read the book to the end – I know what’s coming and how it will happen. I want to tell Joseph not to worry about Mary being pregnant out of wedlock, I want to scoot him off to bed that night a little earlier than usual, just so the dream and the angel will come sooner and he can know what I know!

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (v. 21, ESV)

We read Joseph’s story with eager excitement for what is about to happen to him. We know what’s coming – we know that the prophecy is going to be fulfilled and it’s all going to be okay.

But Joseph’s isn’t the only story to which we know the ending. We’ve got the whole manuscript. Even the part that comes after us!

The anticipation and hope we have for Joseph in his situation? We can have that for ourselves, too! We know that prophecies will be fulfilled! We know that Christ is coming back! We know, like the angel told Joseph, that we have nothing to fear – He was coming then to save us, and He’s coming back again to take us with Him.

It’s true, we don’t know what tomorrow will hold. But because of what we do know, we can face it with hope and without fear.

Feel the excitement – the promise – with me today, sisters! Rest in the assurance of what lies ahead. Need a reminder? Check the manuscript. It’s all there!

  • Tahwahnah

    Thank you Lord for you perfect plan.

  • Talk about a surprise pregnancy and a jump into parenthood, and then the wedding was pushed up… I think that is a lot of emotional and physical changes in one year, especially if others are not supporting either your marriage or your pregnancy. They had a ton of opportunities to be stressed out to the max that year and stress in marriage often causes conflict. Yet God, in His mercy, took care of them moment by moment. They trusted without knowing, and I need to too. God puts us in adventures like this every day and I often respond with anxiety. Lord, give me a heart that is steadfast, fully trusting in You. Because Your lovingkindnesses indeed never cease. Your compassions never fail. Great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

  • Charliie

    Yes Katie ; Amen! Thanks for sharing that verse.

  • mkoentopp

    I can't help but think of Joseph's story through a different set of eyes. To think of what he must have been thinking. Jason Gray has an amazing song about Joseph on his new Christmas album and I think he sums it up beautifully:

    Love can make a soul come alive/ Love can draw a dream out of the darkness/ And blow every door open wide/ But love can leave you brokenhearted

    Did she dare to look you in the eye/ Did her betrayal leave you raging?/ Did you let her see you cry/ When she said the child was not your baby?

    Pain can turn to anger then to vengeance/ It happens time and again/ Even in the best of men
    It takes a miracle to save us

    When love is like an open wound/ There’s no way to stop the bleeding/ Did you lose sleep over what to do?/ Between what’s just and what brings healing

    Pain can be a road to find compassion/ When we don’t understand/ And bring a better end
    It takes a miracle to show us

    Forgiveness is a miracle/ A miracle/ And a miracle can change your world/ Forgiveness is a miracle

    An angel in a dream spoke into your darkest night/ So you trusted in the Lord and you took her as your wife/ But the forgiveness that you gave would be given back to you/Because you carried in your heart what she was holding in her womb

    Love was in a crowded barn/ There you were beside her kneeling/ You held it in your arms
    As the miracle started breathing

    Forgiveness is the miracle/ The miracle/And a miracle will change your world
    Forgiveness is the miracle/Forgiveness is the miracle/ The miracle/ And a miracle will save the world/ Forgiveness is the miracle

    Blessed Joseph, your heart is proven/ And through you the Kingdom has come/ For God delights in a man of mercy/ And has found an earthly father for his son

    Thank you God for choosing the right man for your manuscript!

  • jaajaabor

    It was interesting to note that the geneology given to us is of joseph at the beginning of this book..He was from the line of David. I can imagine how amazed Joseph must have felt at the angel's visit and at the reminder that he was in line for fulfillment of God's promises. When we are living out our daily lives

  • I love the message today because I am really enjoying this advent study and feel the same excitement in knowing the ending. I hadn’t really thought about how the same is true of my life! Praise God!

  • Hello ladies! I’ve got an urgent prayer request!!! Well, urgent in my eyes. Yesterday, I look my final for school. It went well; Praise God! That same evening, I got a call from my proctor (the person who watches me as I take the test) that she lost it. She can’t find it anywhere. There is only one place she didn’t look. Please pray that early tomorrow morning she would find it! I really don’t want to have to take it again. And also, pray that my proctors heart would just be still and calm. She’s a bit upset about it. Thank you!!!! I’ll give an update tomorrow. God is good!

  • this plan is absolutely blowing my mind!! yes it's stories i've already heard (WAY more then once) but it's like i'm hearing them for the very first time, perhaps in a new light… it's like a suspense novel that i already know the ending to but yet i get excited, nervous, and scared every time that i hear it.

  • This is a great reminder that no matter how bad things get we know the end of the story! God is victorious!! And He uses ORDINARY people–BROKEN and MESSY little people like me–to do BIG big things in His Kingdom. How great is our God!!

  • Katie, thank you for that verse, I will certainly carry it with me today!
    This SRT study has allowed me to look at the season in a different way- a time of waiting, expectancy, quiet. I too am in a valley, and am waiting so much longer than I thought I would have to, but I do believe that my God has called me to it. I know that he is providing me support, like Elizabeth was to young Mary, to sustain me and guide me through. I will wait, and pray, and listen. This surrendering is hard, but it makes us who we are to be in our Lord, doesn’t it?
    I can’t help but see God smiling on this SRT community, as in this hard time and amidst this broken world we come together in Him! Wow.

    • Katie

      Hi, Amy,
      I'm so glad that verse encouraged you, too! :) I am right there with you…waiting so much longer than I thought I would have to. But it's exciting to know that He has purpose in our waiting and that this waiting could be preparing us for the next part of His plan for our lives! I love what you said about feeling that God has called you to this season of waiting. That's really a wonderful way to view it, because it really enforces the fact that He has a purpose and that He is using the waiting for our good and His glory. I pray that He would continue to provide support to sustain us both, and that we would both bear fruit for Him, as a result of these quiet seasons of waiting we both find ourselves in. God bless! :)

  • O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie;
    Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by;
    Yet in thy dark street shineth the everlasting Light;
    The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee to-night.
    For Christ is born of Mary; and gathered all above
    while mortals sleep the angels keep their watch of wondering love;
    O morning stars! Together proclaim the holy birth,
    And praises sing to God the King and peace to men on earth.
    How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given!
    So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His heaven;
    No ear may hear His coming ; but in this world of sin
    where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.
    O holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray;
    Cast out our sin, and enter in–be born in us today!
    We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell–
    Oh come to us, abide with us, Our Lord Immanuel.

  • What beautiful hope this passage and devotion provides! "Years of sacrificing and wandering and prophesying and waiting are all coming to a head…" Waiting with hope (and not giving in to discouragement or doubt) can be such a difficult thing to do. This is a season in my life where I am finding that to be true. There are certain things I know the Lord has placed on my heart, but in waiting for Him to bring those plans to fruition…the discouragement and the doubt sets in. We can be encouraged, though, that even in the waiting God is working. He picks the perfect time for everything — just as He did with Christ's birth and the unfolding of all the events that led up to it and all of the events that followed it (and all of the events still to come!!). A few days ago, I was reading a devotional passage in my Bible about the verses Mark 9:23-26. This part really encouraged my heart: "Often God delays purposefully, and the delay is just as much an answer to your prayer as is the fulfillment when it comes." The writer of that devotion goes on to explain that this is how God worked in the lives of the great Bible characters and that they were made great through the discipline of their faith, and only thus were they fitted for the positions to which God had called them. God is working out His Kingdom story every day (even in our waiting!).

  • What a great encouragement for me today to see that we do indeed know God in Christ, and can trust all He has said about Himself and His work among us. I've never considered that we are like those who were waiting on Christ to enter the world, but with the advantage of the whole story given to us. While we don't know specifics, just as they didn't, we can be so encouraged that even this study has shown us the fulfillment of countless prophecies then, with more to come as God works out His plans even now. What hope that brings today!

  • Glory! Mary and Joesph BELIEVED GOD! A virgin pregnant by the POWER of the Holy Ghost and a man marrying her! They believed God! God confirmed the words He had spoken through His prophets! HALLELUIAH ! Sisters, let's BELIEVE GOD today for the impossible. "For ALL things for possible to those who BELIEVE!"

  • rocknitat55

    Feeling the excitement, because I have the whole story how blessed I am no matter what the situation, my deliverer cometh. Truly a blessing

  • Charliie

    This story reminds me that we can not look out to the world for approval of our decisions. We need to be sure that our decisions and choices line up with God’s will for us! Many would have judged Mary and Joseph, they probably would not have believed the reasoning behind her pregnancy. But Mary trusted in The Lord! And that is what is important and that is what we have to keep in mind, when making decisions. Everyone may not agree. They may judge you. They may dislike you. And they may turn their backs on you . But if your truly believe it is within God’s will, accept what is! Accept your decisions; please The Lord not man! :-). This was a great way to reflect and remind myself of these things! I am thankful.
    Be blessed Sisters!

  • Sandrine

    Joseph and Mary's reactions, in spite of the fact that they knew they'd be gossipped about for "having a child out of wedlock" truly humbles me!

    It helps to put into perspective what I think of as challenges, motivating me to give my all for His will to be done!

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