A worthy principle

JP: Article by Dan Miller. Dan Pastors Eden Baptist Church and is the son of Arlys and Sheldon Miller of Fourth Baptist Church.

The Joseph Principle


But while Joseph mused, God spoke, and graciously redirected Joseph’s logical but errant thoughts. God instructed Joseph to proceed with the formalization of his marriage to Mary. She had not been unfaithful. The child living in her womb had been conceived by a miraculous work of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:20-21). God was up to something unusual.

Joseph was certainly relieved, in one sense; but would he dare obey the divine message? There was much at stake. You can’t expect everyone to believe a virgin can conceive and bear a child, after all. By formalizing his marriage to Mary, Joseph would seem to admit that he had impregnated her or perhaps lacked the integrity or patience to find a virtuous wife. To remain married to Mary, Joseph would consign himself to suffer the hardships of ridicule and social misunderstanding the rest of his earthly life. Would he do it? Would he obey God?

Joseph obeyed (Matt. 1:24). He retained Mary as his wife because God willed it. There seemed to be no glory in it for him. His willingness to obey the divine call seemed to invite a lion’s share of misunderstanding and ridicule. But Joseph did what he was called to do out of principle and turned his attention once again to the task of loving his wife (Gen. 2:24).

A worthy principle emerges from the legacy of Joseph and calls for consideration: If God says it, you believe it; if God wills it, you do it. How profoundly this conviction has transformed lives through the centuries since Joseph’s day. How profoundly it transforms lives today. The cultural structures have changed radically since the days of Joseph, and our circumstances will never parallel his. But here is an awesome wonder: the same God still speaks, and the same God still reigns. Joy to the world!

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