Bible Society of South Africa

God speaks through dreams with Joseph – 2 December 2022

By Carina Francke

Bible text(s)

The Birth of Jesus Christ

18This was how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. His mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they were married, she found out that she was going to have a baby by the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 1:18GNBOpen in Bible reader

The prophet Isaiah, in his lifetime, prophesied that a young girl (a virgin) will give birth to a boy who will be called Jesus. “Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (The name means God with us.) (Isaiah 7:14) Differently said: Jesus was God in the flesh; God with us, amongst us. And today? By the Holy Spirit, he is present in the life of every believer.

What was Joseph’s reaction when he heard that Mary, his wife-to-be was pregnant? As a righteous and obedient man to the Law, he knew he was not responsible for her condition. Nevertheless, what should he do? He did not want to expose her to public disgrace! He had in mind to divorce her quietly. From his point of view, this was an honourable decision. However, for Mary, it could cost her life.

The Lord intervenes. The angel of the Lord appears in a dream to Joseph and shares the godly news that the life conceived in Mary is not from man, but from the Holy Spirit! Thus, Joseph need not fear taking Mary home as his wife. The angel shares detail: “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 1:21). When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord commanded him – he took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to her a son. Then, Joseph named him Jesus – just as the angel charged him. (Matthew 1:24-25)

This angel of the Lord was also God’s messenger to keep Joseph up to date regarding any situation that concerned Mary and their son Jesus. When King Herod ordered the murder on all boys of two years and younger, the angel warned Joseph in a dream to take Mary and their son, flee to Egypt and stay there until he brings news that it is safe to return.

After the death of Herod, the angel of the Lord visits Joseph in Egypt (in a dream again) and indicates the new move: he must take Mary and their son back to the land of Israel, where they come from (Matthew 2:13-23). Joseph hesitated, because Herod’s son was now ruling in the Judea region. What if this is a case of like father, like son? However, God, who knows all, reveals to Joseph in a dream to leave for the region of Galilea, because those who sought after the child are dead.

What a loving, heavenly Father the believer has! He himself sees to it that the plans he has for his loving children, come into being. But then, you and I must listen closely to hear his voice and act accordingly. You need not back off from problems or dangers. Your Father, who knows everything, is also your Help and will come to your rescue.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that your involvement with people has never stopped. Thank you that we may dream, but even more so, thank you for directing the way, so that we do not derail your dream for our lives. Thank you for angels that put our wandering feet back on the rails, so that we can walk your way. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.8
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