“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 by the Holy Spirit. So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly.” – Matthew 1:18-19
I am blown away every time I come face to face with the sheer sovereignty of God. This is one of those times.
God had chosen a young virgin who was pledged to be married, to birth the Messiah by way of immaculate conception. (A pledge to marry could only be broken by divorce. It is much more binding than our engagements.) Who on earth was going to believe that this pregnancy was holy, and not the result of Mary’s transgression? Especially the man she was to marry?
God never throws stuff up and the air and says “let’s see if this works”. Never. His plans are perfect down to the last detail. Joseph is one of those details.
It may be difficult for us to relate to what was really going on so long ago. For us, this scenario would look very different. In our world it would not be shocking for an engaged woman to turn up pregnant, even pregnant by someone other than her fiance. Sad, yes. Shocking, no. Which is sad in itself. What would shock us, is if that woman was dragged into the public square, accused and found guilty of adultery, and then stoned to death, which is what Joseph could have done. While we may not be able to wrap our minds around all that, we can certainly imagine what Joseph may have been feeling, and marvel at his response.
Because many, if not most of us, have known the pain of betrayal in some form or another. The humiliation, disappointment, and rejection that come like waves when someone has deeply betrayed our trust. But what only a few know, is the excruciating pain of dying to our own response to it, and instead, responding out of obedience to God.
“But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord suddenly 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 by the Holy Spirit.’…When Joseph got up from sleeping, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her but did not know her intimately until she gave birth to a son. And he named Him Jesus.” (1:20, 24)
The Messiah came forth through two people’s obedience to a hard thing. But not for one minute do I believe it was a roll of the dice on God’s part. I believe He knew them before the foundation of the world, knew they would be obedient to His calling on their lives. He knew He could trust them with Glory.
And the treasure for me in all of this?
God doesn’t roll the dice on my life. His sovereignty covers every inch of me, every moment given to me.
This leaves me with one question that I must ask myself. Will I refuse to let fear, pain, rejection, pride, or anything else, get in the way of bringing forth the glory of God in my life?
What do you think when you hear God is sovereign? How confident/comfortable are you in God’s sovereignty over your life?
Is there a treasure in this story for you?
Previously: Matthew: the other three women