Joseph is a very sensitive man whose ear is hearkened to the Lord. The discernment required to hear from God in this manner and to respond with consistent obedience is at the core of Joseph’s strength. He is the perfect father to protect the newborn Saviour…
12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, [the magi] returned to their country by another route.
13 When they had gone, 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.”
14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
18 “A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.”
19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 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.”
21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was 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, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.
Precious cargo. That’s what Jesus was. I reflected a couple of days ago that I believe Joseph was divinely appointed to be the father of Jesus. He was specifically selected because of whom God made him to be. We saw Joseph’s grace toward Mary, who was found to be with child during their engagement.
We now see Joseph safeguarding the package so that nothing and no one will harm the baby born as Saviour of the world. Joseph was warned by an angel in a dream. The warning was so clear that Joseph rose from his sleep immediately and took his family to Egypt.
Joseph is a very sensitive man whose ear is hearkened to the Lord. The discernment required to hear from God in this manner and to respond with consistent obedience is at the core of Joseph’s strength. He understands his role. He heard from God again while in Egypt to bring his family back to Israel, yet he was then warned in another dream during transit to steer away from Judea toward Nazareth.
Now we know that no good thing is expected to come from Nazareth (John 1:46), yet something very good went there. Joseph – this honourable, God-fearing young man – brought the precious cargo there to grow up in relative anonymity.
What if Joseph had not been so attuned to the Lord? The story would have a very different ending apart from the blessed stewardship of the father of Jesus. He listened. He obeyed. He persevered. All for Jesus.