Friday, December 14, 2012

Faces of Christmas – Joseph's Dream

Part 3 in a series
By Brenda Black

Are the most vivid dreams reserved only for guys named Joseph whose dads are named Jacob? Visions of honor and power filled the head of Abraham's great grandson. Though thrown into a cistern and later imprisoned, Joseph the Dreamer saw his images fulfilled. Generations later, another Joe experienced profound revelations while he slept. His dreams came true beyond his wildest imagination.

Joseph No. 2 was youthful and brimming with plans for a bright future. His dreams included a pretty little gal named Mary, but he didn't foresee what would happen when she said “yes.”
“This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. “But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, 'Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.'” (Matthew 1:18-21)
Before you write Joseph off as an embittered fiance, look deeper into his heart. Certainly Mary was hand-picked by God for her humility and willing spirit. Could she also have been chosen because of her good taste in the potential father of Jesus? Joseph was a righteous man. He was pledged to Mary. That means he was already in the process of building their dream home.

When a young man of Israel in Jesus' time saw the girl he wanted, he approached her with a marriage contract, giving terms by which he would propose marriage. The most important consideration in the contract was the elaborate price the bridegroom would be willing to pay to marry this particular bride. The “bride price” showed his love in a most tangible way. If the bride and her father agreed to the terms, the engaged couple would drink a cup of wine together, solidifying the groom's willingness to sacrifice in order to have this bride, and her willingness to enter this marriage.

And then he went to work while she became a lady in waiting. The groom built a bridal chamber – a little mansion – in which they would spend their honeymoon. It was a complex undertaking, beautiful and stocked with provisions to last an entire week. The project would ordinarily take the better part of a year.

Meanwhile, Mary would be making herself ready. Whenever she stepped out of her house, she would wear a veil to signal to other young men that she was spoken for and no other contracts would be considered.

Joseph had invested his finances as well as his heart into this glowing bride-to-be. The very thought of divorcing quietly is all about Mary. It is for her protection and it is his total loss.

On the heels of mind-numbing news that Mary is with child, Joseph collapses into bed in exhaustion, resolved to do what he thinks best. But God has other plans and He insists that Joseph is the kind of man He wants raising His Only Begotten Son. God gives Joseph THE dream and the rest is HIStory!

Never discount what God can do with a righteous life, a humble wife, a perfect plan and the miraculous power to transcend time and space. In the stillness of the night, He speaks. If we are listening and obedient, we just might experience living a marvelous dream.

May God bless you with visions of His perfect will this season and always!  

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