Genesis 2:4-25, Matthew 1:18-25, Psalms 1:6, Proverbs 1:7-9
NT: “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 from the Holy Spirit. So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly. But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord 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 from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” …When Joseph woke up, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her but did not have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to a son. And he named him Jesus.” (Matthew 1:18-21, 24-25 CSB)
What a great example Joseph is of someone who truly walks righteously. There was nothing conventional about his response the the situation he found himself in. Worldly wisdom would have told Joseph, once he found out about Mary’s condition, to save his own reputation at Mary’s expense and openly condemn her for her apparent indiscretions. But he didn’t do that. Instead he cared more for her reputation that his own. When he found out that the child Mary was carrying was truly divine, worldly wisdom would have told him to reject the responsibility for the challenges would be far to costly and would ruin any chances of him making a name for himself. Instead, Joseph laid down his rights and entitlements and fully embraced everything God called him to do, no matter how challenging or costly. Thank God for Joseph, and for the “Josephs” of the world who walk the way of the righteous, even to their own hurt.
Psalms: “For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.” (Psalms 1:6 CSB)
Delighting in the Lord’s ways places us under His hand of protection, provision, and promotion. Though the way that he leads us in may be wrought with challenges and dangers, we can be sure that He will lead us through it all and come out the other side stronger, more mature, and eternally blessed. If we choose to reject God’s way and go our own way instead, that way will ultimately lead to ruin – either in this life or in the life to come. As harrowing the path ended up being for Joseph as he chose the Lord’s way, the Lord watched over him and his family, and delivered them all from harms way – providing for their needs as they went.
Proverbs: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline.” (Proverbs 1:7 CSB)
Fear has to do with honor and respect, not the terror kind of fear. When we honor, respect, and hallow the Lord, we place His ways above our own… we give more credence to His wisdom than our own or that which comes from the world. When we fully accept God’s ways and receive His understanding – that is the beginning of true knowledge. Despising God’s ways, wisdom, and teachings is foolish – especially when you consider that by shunning His ways, you are rejecting the wisdom that comes from the Master Designer and Creator of it all. Why would anyone reject a sure thing for advice from someone who, in the scheme of things, is just making things up as they go. The wise way is the Lord’s way of righteousness.