WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
DECEMBER 20, 2020
TOPIC: JOSEPH WAS A GOOD MAN
BY T. O. BANSO
“Because Mary’s husband, Joseph, was a good man, he did not want to disgrace her in public, so he planned to divorce her secretly” (Matthew 1:19 New Century Version).
Suppose you were Joseph, how would you have handled a situation where you suddenly find a lady you are engaged to pregnant before you get married? It would be so painful to some men would not allow the issue to be resolved quietly, but would make so much noise. They could try to humiliate the lady, who had cheated on them.
But how did Joseph handle the matter? Matthew 1:19 says, “Because Mary’s husband, Joseph, was a good man, he did not want to disgrace her in public, so he planned to divorce her secretly” (New Century Version). Joseph didn’t want to humiliate or embarrass her.
However, following the angel’s appearance to him in the dream, explaining that the pregnancy was of the Holy Ghost, “Joseph took Mary as his wife, but he did not have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to the son. And Joseph named him Jesus” (verse 24b-25 New Century Version).
Indeed, Joseph was a good man. He changed his mind about divorce to align himself with the will of God concerning Mary, Joseph was a good man. He did not insist on going ahead with the divorce. Joseph was a good man; he took care of Mary carrying a pregnancy that was not his, and despite the societal stigma associated with such a pregnancy. Joseph endured the possible ridicule by his relations and friends; he was a good man.
Joseph did not have sexual relations with his wife until after the birth of a baby he was not responsible for, Joseph was a good man (verse 25). He was a good man; he took the trouble to take along a heavily pregnant Mary to Bethlehem for the census where Mary fell into labour and was delivered of baby Jesus.
Travelling with a pregnant woman due for delivery is not easy. If the baby being expected is not one’s, it could even be more frustrating – the joy in an expectant father that could make one overlook the burden of the trouble of providing the logistics for a safe delivery could be missing.
Mary was delivered of her first male child (Luke 2:6-7). But that baby was not Joseph’s baby. Joseph was a good man; he stood by Mary throughout the pregnancy up to the delivery and even beyond. Joseph was a good man, he named a baby that was not his own. “…And Joseph named him Jesus” (Matthew 1:25b New Century Version).
Later when Herod was going to kill Jesus, Joseph obeyed God’s word to carry a child that was not his to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15). It is not easy just relocating without any prior plan to do so. Such relocation sometimes causes dislocation, which could be painful! He had to start life afresh in a new place just to protect a child that was not his.
Escaping with a nursing mother is not easy, especially when there is a threat of death. But Joseph was a good man. He obeyed God. Joseph left that night for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death.
Joseph was a good man; he relocated again to Nazareth carrying out the instruction of an angel in a dream, following the death of Herod. Joseph was a good man who was open to the voice of God. He was sensitive to the voice of God and didn’t consider his convenience more important than the will of God. He returned to Nazareth to start life again (Matthew 2:19-23). He was a good man.
Joseph, a carpenter, trained a child that was not his; he was a good man. He was a father-figure in the life of Jesus. In Luke 2:48, Mary referred to Joseph as the father of Jesus. Joseph even taught him carpentry! In Mark 6:3, Jesus is described as a carpenter.
Mary, a good lady, a virgin, made a good choice of a husband. God must have known Joseph was a good man who would do a good job. He trusted him that he would not mistreat Mary who He had chosen for the assignment of bringing Jesus into the world.
He knew Joseph would not divorce her because of the strange pregnancy. Imagine Mary going through the trauma of an unwanted pregnancy for nine months! Imagine if Joseph was not there for Mary! How would she have survived the stigma, the mockery that ladies carrying rejected pregnancies go through? No father to accept responsibility, no emotional support.
Mary’s ordeal would have been enormous without somebody like Joseph who was a good man – Mary actually did not commit any immorality – and that would have made it even more painful to her; suffering for no just cause. But Joseph was a good man.
Thank God for a good man like Joseph being a good husband to a good wife and mother like Mary. What a good marriage partners both were!
Unfortunately, there are men today who neglect their wives during pregnancy– women, not the Holy Spirit, impregnated. There are men that are so stubborn that they don’t listen to anyone including God. There are men who treat their wives as if they are doing their wives a favour marrying them; they feel they are doing their wives a favour providing for the home.
The women in such marriages could be regretting and lamenting, wondering how long they would continue in the nightmare. It’s a painful experience for these women and their children. A good woman marrying a bad man! Are you a good man? Are you a good woman?
This Christmas, husbands and wives should make their homes Bible-compliant. Even if Mary’s pregnancy was as a result of sin she had committed, Joseph chose not to disgrace her. Whatever your spouse has done or does, don’t embarrass, ridicule or humiliate her. Love forgives sins while the offending party should genuinely seek reconciliation or resolution.
Billy Graham said, “It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge and my job to love.” Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). Walk in love (Ephesians 5:2). Emulate Joseph. Be a good husband; be a good wife.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, help me to be sensitive and obedient to Your voice. Help me, LORD, to walk in love with others in all situations. Holy Spirit, help me to forgive my spouse and not seek revenge or embarrass, ridicule or humiliate him or her.
(For over 400 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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