“Talents are best nurtured in solitude. Character is best formed in the stormy billows of the world.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
When I read Goethe’s statement I thought of Joseph and his actions on the night he learned of The Incarnation via his betrothed Mary.
Every action of Joseph screamed out against the norm of his times. In situations like that of Mary the norm was to throw her away, ruin her by making a public spectacle of her. Fortunately, Joseph was a man who thought prior to action. While he thought on these things, the Lord undertook to lead him in the paths of righteousness. The story is recorded in Matthew 1:18-25. The account asserts that Joseph and Mary had not engaged in pre-marital sex. Yet she was with child. What to do? Put her way quietly, rather than the public shaming? This alone points to a character of compassion toward a person who apparently violated his sacred trust associated with the rules of betrothal. To be kind to such a one was unthinkable. Yet here is Joseph, pondering the unthinkable path of forgiveness!
Several points of Character leap off the page of Matthew 1:18-25.
Joseph was kind to someone who enormously trespassed against him, as far as evidence attested.
- He walked close to God, and did not on the public solution.
- He listened to God’s messenger, an angel of the Lord. “Listening to God, either from an angel or His written Word is a very good thing.
- He Knew of Isaiah’s famous prophecy, as the angel removed all doubt about who THE intended Virgin was.
- He woke up and DID as the angel instructed. People of Character follow God’s plan.
- He kept himself under control and did not have marital relations with Mary until after the Birth of Christ.
If the “Christmas” example of Joseph was followed how different our society would be today.
Joseph, in the biggest storm of his life, stood for what’s right.
Copyright © 2017 Larry Lilly
Consistant IT Work. Oral Deckard