February 25, 2024 | Doug Sauder
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“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.’ So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 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, 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.”—Matthew 2:19–23 (NIV)
In the Gospel of Matthew, we find a passage that highlights the importance of trusting in God’s guidance and providence in our lives. We witness the remarkable journey of Joseph, Mary, and the infant Jesus as they navigate the challenges and uncertainties of their circumstances.
It begins with the death of King Herod, who had sought to harm the child Jesus. In a dream, an angel of the Lord appears to Joseph, instructing him to return to the land of Israel with Mary and Jesus, assuring him the threat to the child’s life has passed.
Joseph, as a faithful and obedient servant of God, promptly obeys the angel’s directive. However, as he nears Judea, he receives news that Herod’s son, Archelaus, now rules over that region. Knowing that Archelaus is no less tyrannical than his father, Joseph is understandably afraid for the safety of his family. But it’s in this moment of uncertainty and fear that Joseph receives further guidance from God. Once again, in a dream, he’s warned to withdraw to the district of Galilee. Trusting in God’s wisdom and protection, Joseph obeys this new command, ultimately settling in the town of Nazareth.
This passage serves as a poignant reminder that God’s providence is not limited to grand, extraordinary moments but extends into the minutiae of our everyday existence. Just as He intricately orchestrated the circumstances for Joseph and Mary, God continues to work behind the scenes in our lives, guiding us, protecting us, and leading us towards His intended destinations. It also underscores the profound truth that our daily paths, even in the most unexpected turns, are shaped by His divine plan, and in trusting His providence, we find reassurance that every aspect of our lives is held securely in His loving hands.
This story reminds us of several essential truths:
The Lord is our ultimate guide. He knows the path we should take, and He communicates with us often through dreams, His Word, or the counsel of others.
Joseph’s immediate and unwavering obedience is a testament to his faith.
God’s protection surrounds His children. He watches over us and provides for our needs, shielding us from harm and danger.
Fulfillment of Prophecy
This passage also highlights the fulfillment of prophecy, emphasizing God’s sovereignty and His ability to orchestrate events according to His divine plan.
During my childhood, I’d often participate in the trust relay game. Its rules were straightforward: One teammate was to be blindfolded, while the other would guide them through a complex obstacle course spread across the field. The unique aspect of this game is that the blindfolded partner has to place their unwavering trust in their guide to safely navigate the course. Another distinctive element of this game is that amid the voices guiding other participants, the blindfolded partner needs to remain entirely attuned to their partner’s voice.
This game serves as a poignant reminder that in our lives, there are moments when we must place our trust in something greater than ourselves. When we do, we’ll gain the confidence to face life’s challenges head on as well as discover we’re exactly where we’re meant to be.
Pause: Take a moment to quiet your heart and mind. Consider the significance of obedience in your own life and how God’s guidance has impacted your journey.
Practice: Think about a recent situation in your life where you faced a decision or direction that required obedience to God’s guidance.
Pray: Dear heavenly Father, we thank You for the example of Joseph. His unwavering obedience to Your guidance is a source of inspiration for us. Lord, help us to be attentive to Your guidance in our lives. Amen.
After serving four years in the events department at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, Romina and her husband Greg moved to Sardinia, Italy, as missionaries. Before this, Romina, a trained chef, had a successful 25-year career as a Food and Beverage Director in the U.S. hospitality industry. In Sardinia, when she's not dedicated to her missionary work, Romina indulges her passion for writing and exploring local street markets, discovering new flavors and culinary inspirations.