Thursday 31 December, 2015

Genesis 39:6b-23

Joseph was strong and handsome. 7 After a while, his master’s wife noticed Joseph. She said to him, “Come to bed with me!” 8 But he refused. “My master has put me in charge,” he told her. “Now he doesn’t have to worry about anything in the house. He trusts me to take care of everything he owns. 9 No one in this house is in a higher position than I am. My master hasn’t held anything back from me, except you. You are his wife. So how could I do an evil thing like that? How could I sin against God?” 10 She spoke to Joseph day after day. But he told her he wouldn’t go to bed with her. He didn’t even want to be with her. 11 One day Joseph went into the house to take care of his duties. None of the family servants was inside. 12 Potiphar’s wife grabbed him by his coat. “Come to bed with me!” she said. But he left his coat in her hand. And he ran out of the house. 13 She saw that he had left his coat in her hand and had run out of the house. 14 So she called her servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew slave has been brought here to make fun of us! He came in here to force me to have sex with him. But I screamed for help. 15 He heard my scream. So he left his coat beside me and ran out of the house.” 16 She kept Joseph’s coat with her until Potiphar came home. 17 Then she told him her story. She said, “That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to rape me. 18 But I screamed for help. So he left his coat beside me and ran out of the house.” 19 Potiphar’s wife told him, “That’s how your slave treated me.” When Joseph’s master heard her story, he became very angry. 20 So he put Joseph in prison. It was the place where the king’s prisoners were kept. While Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the Lord was with him. He was kind to him. So the man running the prison was pleased with Joseph. 22 He put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners. He made him responsible for everything done there. 23 The man who ran the prison didn’t pay attention to anything in Joseph’s care. That’s because the Lord was with Joseph. He gave Joseph success in everything he did.

There are many things that can be taken from this passage – Joseph is “strikingly handsome” (Msge), Potiphers’ wife lustful – there is justice and injustice. The main thing that has struck me is the 2 men- Potipher & the chief jailer – they have both seen in Joseph things that are more than skin deep. They have seen in this young man the qualities of integrity, diligence, honesty, trust, faithfulness & God’s favour on him, so much so that neither had to worry about anything that they put into his care. The contrast is Potiphers’ wife, she only saw the outward appearance of Joseph as he became the object of her lust.

I think this is the only place where we are told that Joseph was “handsome and good looking” (NRSV) yet that is not what Joseph is remembered for, at least 12 chapters in Genesis are devoted to him, yet only half of 1 verse to his looks! This has made me reflect on what qualities others will see in me, how will my actions, speech, attitudes be reflected? Oh that even some of the qualities that were seen in Joseph will be seen in me, and yet, the qualities of Jesus are our aim.

Lord, help me to be able to look at others with your eyes, the qualities you have placed in them and not just the visual appearance. Lord, continue to mould me to be more like Jesus that His qualities would be what I am remembered for, that His fragrance would be what others remember of me.

Written by Suzie Hodgson

3 replies
  1. Andrew Mellor says:

    I have never thought about this distinction between inward and outer qualities in this passage. I want that deeper perception too.

  2. Andrew Wilson says:

    I love the complexity of this passage.
    It is one I muse over and struggle with when things are not going right. Not going to plan. Well my plan. Yet somehow when it all seems terrible it is still within God’s plan. And somehow He uses it.
    How does Joseph cope with the unfairness the injustice. What about the line: “Joseph was in prison and God was with him”.
    It was not fair he was in prison — and for no good reason!! And on top of all the other injustices.
    Lord, I don’t like these Joseph experiences until I’m out the other side and can see your plan.

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Wednesday 30 December, 2015

Genesis 39:1-6a

39 Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. An Egyptian named Potiphar had bought him from the Ishmaelite traders who had taken him there. Potiphar was one of Pharaoh’s officials. He was the captain of the palace guard. 2 The Lord was with Joseph. He gave him great success. Joseph lived in Potiphar’s house. 3 Joseph’s master saw that the Lord was with him. He saw that the Lord made Joseph successful in everything he did. 4 So Potiphar was pleased with Joseph and made him his attendant. He put Joseph in charge of his house. He trusted Joseph to take care of everything he owned. 5 From that time on, the Lord blessed Potiphar’s family and servants because of Joseph. He blessed everything Potiphar had in his house and field. 6 So Joseph took good care of everything Potiphar owned. With Joseph in charge, Potiphar didn’t have to worry about anything except the food he ate.

At this part of Joseph’s story God blesses everything that Joseph puts his hand too and he has given him a position of power and influence. He even blesses Joseph’s foreign employer and all he owns. Such prosperity under Joseph’s leadership has meant that he has been given full responsibility of the household of the leader of a foreign nation.

How can this be? How can a man who has been maltreated and abused, who is a foreigner living in this country and who came into the land as a slave, now be in such a powerful position, in such a short time? God used incredible circumstances and Joseph’s God given gifts (dreams and the interpretation of them) to lift him to this position of power. For His (God’s) purposes and plans. Plans that He has for Joseph, his family and for the nation of Israel and Gods people.
The thing that speaks most to me is that Joseph, who has been so badly treated and who has been so thrust about in life, does not appear to define himself by the journey or his circumstances. Joseph is described as a faithful man who works hard and lives with integrity. He does not live out of malice or bitterness or revenge but out of love, kindness and forgiveness.

Joseph knows, without a doubt, that Gods favour & delight in him (Joseph) does not change. His circumstances change but not his God. He does not complain or blame but he is ready to be used by God. And it would appear that Joseph knows this and he is shaped by this. His integrity is not shifted. He is who he is. One of Gods people. A man in the line of Abraham. He is a foreigner but yet he seems at home in the land and at home in himself because he knows who he is in his God.

God, may I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I am loved by you, that you favour me and delight in me. That I am your child who has been bought with a great price. And may I live out of this knowledge. May I live as one ready to be used of you, whatever the circumstances, that your plans may come to fruition and that you would be Glorified.

Written by Zoe Stewart

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Tuesday 29 December, 2015

Genesis 38:1-30

38 At that time, Judah left his brothers. He went down to stay with a man named Hirah from the town of Adullam. 2 There Judah met the daughter of a man from Canaan. His name was Shua. Judah married her and slept with her. 3 She became pregnant and had a son. They named him Er. 4 She became pregnant again and had another son. She named him Onan. 5 She had still another son. She named him Shelah. He was born at Kezib. 6 Judah got a wife for his oldest son Er. Her name was Tamar. 7 But Judah’s oldest son Er was evil in the Lord’s eyes. So the Lord put him to death. 8 Then Judah said to Onan, “Sleep with your brother’s wife. After all, you are her brother-in-law. So carry out your duty to her. Provide children for your brother.” 9 But Onan knew that the children wouldn’t belong to him. So every time he slept with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground. He did it so he wouldn’t provide children for his brother. 10 What he did was evil in the Lord’s eyes. So the Lord put him to death also. 11 Then Judah spoke to his daughter-in-law Tamar. He said, “Live as a widow in your father’s home. Wait there until my son Shelah grows up.” Judah was thinking, “Shelah might die too, just like his brothers.” So Tamar went to live in her father’s home. 12 After a long time Judah’s wife died. She was the daughter of Shua. When Judah got over his sadness, he went up to Timnah. His friend Hirah from Adullam went with him. Men were clipping the wool from Judah’s sheep at Timnah. 13 Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is on his way to Timnah to clip the wool from his sheep.” 14 So she took off her widow’s clothes. She covered her face with a veil so people wouldn’t know who she was. Then she sat down at the entrance to Enaim. Enaim is on the road to Timnah. Tamar knew that Shelah had grown up. But she hadn’t been given to him as his wife. 15 Judah saw her. He thought she was a prostitute because she had covered her face with a veil. 16 He didn’t realize that she was his daughter-in-law. He went over to her by the side of the road. He said, “Come. Let me sleep with you.” “What will you give me to sleep with you?” she asked. 17 “I’ll send you a young goat from my flock,” he said. “Will you give me something that belongs to you?” she asked. “I’ll keep it until you send the goat.” 18 He said, “What should I give you?” “Give me your official seal and the string that it hangs from,” she answered. “And give me your walking stick.” So he gave them to her. Then he slept with her. And she became pregnant by him. 19 After she left, she took off her veil. She put on her widow’s clothes again. 20 Judah sent his friend Hirah with the young goat he had promised. He wanted to get back what he had given to the woman. But his friend Hirah couldn’t find her. 21 He asked the men who lived at Enaim, “Where’s the temple prostitute? She used to sit beside the road here.” “There hasn’t been any temple prostitute here,” they said. 22 So Hirah went back to Judah. He said, “I couldn’t find her. Besides, the men who lived there didn’t know anything about her. They said, ‘There hasn’t been any temple prostitute here.’ ” 23 Then Judah said, “Let her keep what she has. I don’t want people making fun of us. After all, I did send her this young goat. We can’t help it if you couldn’t find her.” 24 About three months later people brought word to Judah. They said, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar is guilty of being a prostitute. Now she’s pregnant.” Judah said, “Bring her out! Have her burned to death!” 25 As Tamar was being brought out, she sent a message to her father-in-law. She said, “I am pregnant by the man who owns these.” She continued, “Do you recognize this seal and string and walking stick? Do you know who they belong to?” 26 Judah recognized them. He said, “She’s a better person than I am. I should have given her to my son Shelah, but I didn’t.” Judah never slept with Tamar again. 27 The time came for Tamar to have her baby. There were twin boys inside her. 28 As the babies were being born, one of them stuck out his hand. So the woman helping Tamar took a bright red thread. The woman tied it on the baby’s wrist. She said, “This one came out first.” 29 But he pulled his hand back, and his brother came out first instead. She said, “Just look at how you have forced your way out!” So he was called Perez. 30 Then his brother, who had the red thread on his wrist, came out. So he was named Zerah.

What a catastrophic set of lives.

Judah has just sold his brother into slavery (admittedly better than killing him), deceived his father and now he goes off and marries a Canaanite wife (something his great grandfather and grandfather had been firmly against). His oldest son from this marriage is so wicked God has to kill him (the details are left to our imaginations). His second son is killed because he refuses to honour the law to give his brother an heir through Tamar, though I suspect that was not his only wickedness. Judah dishonours his pledge to Tamar. He not only sleeps with what he thinks is a prostitute but a pagan temple prostitute.

It does serve as a contrast to Joseph’s behaviour towards Potiphar’s wife in the next chapter. But I think there is more to this story than that.

Nothing is said about what kind of man Perez was, but he appears 17 more times in the Bible. He is the forefather of Boaz who honourably redeems Ruth and is the grandfather of King David. That he should have descendants like those of Perez is spoken as a blessing over Boaz (Ruth 4:12).

More importantly, he is the forefather of Jesus (Matthew 1 & Luke 3).

Jesus wasn’t born into a perfect family. He came looking for us in the messes of our lives. He took my life of sin on himself on the cross because it was so bad I had to die (like Er). And by that exchange I now live as a child in God’s wonderful family.

Jesus, thank you that you brought redemption into the mess of my life. Give me a heart that looks for your redemption in even the most catastrophic lives around me.

Written by David Cornell

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Monday 28 December, 2015

Genesis 37:29-36

29 Later, Reuben came back to the empty well. He saw that Joseph wasn’t there. He was so upset that he tore his clothes. 30 He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! Now what should I do?” 31 Then they got Joseph’s beautiful robe. They killed a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32 They took the robe back to their father. They said, “We found this. Take a look at it. See if it’s your son’s robe.” 33 Jacob recognized it. He said, “It’s my son’s robe! A wild animal has eaten him up. Joseph must have been torn to pieces.” 34 Jacob tore his clothes. He put on the rough clothing people wear when they’re sad. Then he mourned for his son many days. 35 All Jacob’s other sons and daughters came to comfort him. But they weren’t able to. He said, “I will continue to mourn until I go down into the grave to be with my son.” So Joseph’s father mourned for him. 36 But the traders from Midian sold Joseph to Potiphar in Egypt. Potiphar was one of Pharaoh’s officials. He was the captain of the palace guard.

There is nothing neat and tidy about this part of the account of God’s people. We have brothers betraying their own younger brother and then faking his death, a grieving father and Joseph traveling to Egypt as a slave. Looking at this snapshot it is hard to imagine how God could possibly be at work in the midst. What mess. And these are supposed to be God’s chosen people. Chosen to be a blessing to the world! Really God? You couldn’t find someone more suitable? More responsible? More moral? You were prepared to use this motley crew?!

How amazing that in the mess of humanity and sin, God was at work. How amazing that God didn’t throw in the towel with these people and find someone else to work with. How amazing that God stayed true to His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, even in the face of their shortcomings.

What hope there is for me in this. God is committed to fulfilling His promise to all who believe in His son, saving us and partnering with us, despite our mess. God is bigger than my mistakes, my weaknesses, my limitations… My humanity is not an obstacle to God. He has been working in and with people like me for thousands of years. I think my God can handle it!

God, help me to unlearn the belief that somehow I have to be extraordinary in myself to be acceptable to you and used by you. Thank you for this reminder that you are totally capable of using me as I am. Your bigness more than covers my lack, for when I am weak your power goes on glorious display. Amen.

Written by Beth Waugh

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  1. Andrew Mellor says:

    Thanks Beth, this is such an insight into God’s mind and heart. He really is into using normal people, even wrecked people. Amen!

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Sunday 27 December, 2015

Genesis 37:12-28

12 Joseph’s brothers had gone to take care of their father’s flocks near Shechem. 13 Israel said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are taking care of the flocks near Shechem. Come. I’m going to send you to them.” “All right,” Joseph replied. 14 So Israel said to him, “Go to your brothers. See how they are doing. Also see how the flocks are doing. Then come back and tell me.” So he sent him away from the Hebron Valley. Joseph arrived at Shechem. 15 A man found him wandering around in the fields. He asked Joseph, “What are you looking for?” 16 He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are taking care of their flocks?” 17 “They’ve moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’ ” So Joseph went to look for his brothers. He found them near Dothan. 18 But they saw him a long way off. Before he reached them, they made plans to kill him. 19 “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to one another. 20 “Come. Let’s kill him. Let’s throw him into one of these empty wells. Let’s say that a wild animal ate him up. Then we’ll see whether his dreams will come true.” 21 Reuben heard them talking. He tried to save Joseph from them. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. 22 “Don’t spill any of his blood. Throw him into this empty well here in the desert. But don’t harm him yourselves.” Reuben said that to save Joseph from them. He was hoping he could take him back to his father. 23 When Joseph came to his brothers, he was wearing his beautiful robe. They took it away from him. 24 And they threw him into the well. The well was empty. There wasn’t any water in it. 25 Then they sat down to eat their meal. As they did, they saw some Ishmaelite traders coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, lotion and myrrh. They were on their way to take them down to Egypt. 26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and try to cover up what we’ve done? 27 Come. Let’s sell him to these traders. Let’s not harm him ourselves. After all, he’s our brother. He’s our own flesh and blood.” Judah’s brothers agreed with him. 28 The traders from Midian came by. Joseph’s brothers pulled him up out of the well. They sold him to the Ishmaelite traders for eight ounces of silver. Then the traders took him to Egypt.

We only get part of the story in this passage. We see that Joseph was obedient to his father – ready to do what his father asked without complaining or questioning. We see that he was resourceful. He went to the area where his brothers were supposed to be and asked around until he found out where they were. He then went to the new location. Then his brothers snatched him despite Reuben’s attempt to minimise the situation.

We know that prior to this Joseph was a bit of a painful brother – parading his coat and making a big deal of the dream he had. We also know that after a long time Joseph became well respected and powerful in Egypt. So we can have sympathy for how the brothers felt about Joseph but we can also see that God rewarded Joseph’s readiness to serve and his patience.

Such stories remind us that God wants us to trust Him and that He works things together for our good even when it makes no sense. He wants us to stick to what He says and what He asks us to do, to be at peace and to hold on to the promises He has made. How hard would this have been for Joseph at this point in the story. He was sold to slave traders by his brothers and there was nothing he could do. It would have been easy for him to give up but he went on to work to the best of his ability in all the situations in which he was placed. We can do that too.

Lord help us to know Your words and to embed them into our very being so that in every situation we will remember how it is You want us to be and to act. It’s easy to get overwhelmed in difficult situations, help us to hold onto You and Your promises. Help us to trust You.

Written by Therese Manning

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Saturday 26 December, 2015

Genesis 37:1-11

37 Jacob lived in the land of Canaan. It’s the land where his father had stayed. 2 Here is the story of the family line of Jacob. Joseph was a young man. He was 17 years old. He was taking care of the flocks with some of his brothers. They were the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, the wives of his father Jacob. Joseph brought their father a bad report about his brothers. 3 Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons. That’s because Joseph had been born to him when he was old. Israel made him a beautiful robe. 4 Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them. So they hated Joseph. They couldn’t even speak one kind word to him. 5 Joseph had a dream. When he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. 6 He said to them, “Listen to the dream I had. 7 We were tying up bundles of grain out in the field. Suddenly my bundle stood up straight. Your bundles gathered around my bundle and bowed down to it.” 8 His brothers said to him, “Do you plan to be king over us? Will you really rule over us?” So they hated him even more because of his dream. They didn’t like what he had said. 9 Then Joseph had another dream. He told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said. “I had another dream. This time the sun and moon and 11 stars were bowing down to me.” 10 He told his father as well as his brothers. Then his father rebuked him. He said, “What about this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers really do that? Will we really come and bow down to the ground in front of you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him. But his father kept the dreams in mind.

Throughout this scripture we see Joseph speaking his mind – whether bringing a bad report about his brothers (verse 2), or professing his somewhat controversial dreams about his family bowing down to him (verse 6, verse 9).

We aren’t given much description of Joseph’s attitude or feelings – was he saying these things pridefully? Arrogantly? Fearfully? Confidently? Regardless of how he was feeling and how he delivered what was on his heart, I am encouraged by his consistency in saying what needed to be said. Often we need to bring an honest report about those around us, even if they will not appreciate us doing so. Even more importantly, if we believe God has spoken to us, we need to be consistent in our confession and declaration of what He has spoken, regardless of the consequences. This isn’t for our sake, but for the outworking of His plans and purposes and for His glory.

Father, help me to always say what needs to be said. Please give me the confidence, strength and boldness to confess and declare what you’ve put on my heart, regardless of the consequences, for Your glory. Amen.

Written by Matt Samperi

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Friday 25 December, 2015

Isaiah 9:6-7

6 A child will be born to us. A son will be given to us. He will rule over us. And he will be called Wonderful Adviser and Mighty God. He will also be called Father Who Lives Forever and Prince Who Brings Peace. 7 There will be no limit to how great his authority is. The peace he brings will never end. He will rule on David’s throne and over his kingdom. He will make the kingdom strong and secure. His rule will be based on what is fair and right. It will last forever. The Lord’s great love will make sure that happens. He rules over all.

The description of the Messiah is unambiguous – powerful and inspiring.

The names given suggest a number of things. Divine wisdom and power, ongoing and unceasing fatherly care, the bringing of peace with all of its blessings.

When I think of a Saviour these descriptions cover all my needs. I need a Saviour – one who doesn’t just deal with part of who I am but all that I am and hope to be.

Jesus – the child born is this Saviour.

But even more than this I take confidence from the fact that the kingdom God establishes through the Saviour, Jesus, is one of ever increasing peace and ever increasing dimension. Jesus rule and reign – His kingdom – is not geographical but in our hearts and God’s promise is that it will always increase.

That means His transforming work in me and through me is always at work by His Word and Spirit – wow what a life of joy, of peace, of fruitfulness!!

Father, this Christmas I come to you afresh, committing my life to your Lordship. May I follow you more dearly and nearly day-by-day!

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

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Thursday 24 December, 2015

Matthew 2:7-12

7 Then Herod secretly called for the Wise Men. He found out from them exactly when the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem. He said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report it to me. Then I can go and worship him too.” 9 After the Wise Men had listened to the king, they went on their way. The star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them. It finally stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were filled with joy. 11 The Wise Men went to the house. There they saw the child with his mother Mary. They bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures. They gave him gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 But God warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod. So they returned to their country on a different road.

The “Magi” often called “wise men” were scholars whose knowledge of both astrological science and prophecy helped them to figure out that the unusually bright star they saw shining over Bethlehem pointed the way to the Messiah.

King Herod, who ruled Judea, would have been jealous of any competing king who would have drawn attention away from him — especially one who people thought was worthy of being worshipped.

After meeting the Magi secretly, King Herod told them of Micah’s prophecy and told them he intended to worship Jesus too. I think these men weighed up Micah’s words carefully and realised that it was God who was guiding them by means of the star. Being wise men they were convinced of the authenticity of the pilgrimage.

They were so excited when they saw Jesus that they bowed before him and worshipped him. Mission accomplished! Being devout men they believed the dream God gave them; As we see God’s hand in our lives we are convinced He will reveal His purposes in and through our experiences.

Lord, we thank You for Your guiding light pointing us to a personal relationship with You. We gladly lift our hearts in worship to honour and adore Jesus.

Written by Keith Bennett

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Wednesday 23 December, 2015

Matthew 2:1-6

2 Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea. This happened while Herod was king of Judea. After Jesus’ birth, Wise Men from the east came to Jerusalem. 2 They asked, “Where is the child who has been born to be king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose. Now we have come to worship him.” 3 When King Herod heard about it, he was very upset. Everyone in Jerusalem was troubled too. 4 So Herod called together all the chief priests of the people. He also called the teachers of the law. He asked them where the Messiah was going to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied. “This is what the prophet has written. He said, 6 “ ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are certainly not the least important among the towns of Judah. A ruler will come out of you. He will rule my people Israel like a shepherd.’ ”

As I read this story it struck me for the first time just how extraordinary it is that this band of scholars, wise men from the East, knew that the Messiah had been born just by observing the star that signalled His birth.

How did they know this?  I don’t really know the answer to that question, but they were obviously watching and waiting for this sign and managed to see what so many others failed to see.

How often do I miss the signals from the Holy Spirit because I am not attentive or I ignore His promptings?

Maybe there’s something that you know the Holy Spirit has been trying to point out to you but you have been ignoring Him or putting it off.

I am making a commitment today to attend to a particular area in my life that I know that God has been prompting me to change. Can I encourage you to do the same?

Like those wise men, I know we will find great rewards in following the leading of God’s Spirit.

Written by Shelley Witt

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Tuesday 22 December, 2015

Matthew 1:18-25

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about. His mother Mary and Joseph had promised to get married. But before they started to live together, it became clear that she was going to have a baby. She became pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Her husband Joseph was faithful to the law. But he did not want to put her to shame in public. So he planned to divorce her quietly. 20 But as Joseph was thinking about this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary home as your wife. The baby inside her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She is going to have a son. You must give him the name Jesus. That’s because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to bring about what the Lord had said would happen. He had said through the prophet, 23 “The virgin is going to have a baby. She will give birth to a son. And he will be called Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14) The name Immanuel means “God with us.” 24 Joseph woke up. He did what the angel of the Lord commanded him to do. He took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not sleep with her until she gave birth to a son. And Joseph gave him the name Jesus.

This passage is about the fulfilment of a prophecy given hundreds of years earlier by those who had no way of knowing exactly how it would turn out. That is so exciting – evidence of God’s perfect plan.

However, another thing stands out to me in this passage. Joseph, a good man, determined to quietly break his engagement to Mary because of her pregnancy. But God spoke to him in a dream and he immediately changed his mind and did what God asked him to. The thing which excites me about that is that God’s voice was clear. We often wonder “Am I hearing God correctly?” “Is He really calling me to this?” When it really counts God’s voice is unmistakable. In John 10 Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice”. We can be certain that if we are his sheep, and we are open to hearing, God will make his voice clear.

Thank you Lord, that you are not aloof and hidden away, but are involved in our lives. Please do make your voice clear and help me to be open enough to hear you.

Written by Megan Cornell

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