Dare To Obey - Faithful Living in a Fear-Filled World - Episode 63

Dare To Obey - Faithful Living in a Fear-Filled World - Episode 63
Season 4 Sweet Selah Moments Podcas...

 
 
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Christmas 2021

Dare to Obey - Joseph's Story

Join Nicole and Sharon as they explore living faithfully in a fear-filled world. Joseph the carpenter had no idea his world was about to change when he became engaged to Mary, mother of Jesus. Yet it did. Totally and irrevocably. Yet when we observe his life, we don't see fear. We see faithful obedience. Let's learn how to live obediently like him, no matter the chaos around us!

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Read the transcript for Dare to Obey-Faithful Living in a Fear-Filled World-Joseph's Story-Episode 63

Speaker 1 (00:00):

[music]

Speaker 2 (00:04):

Christmas, a beautiful time of year to remember the gift of Jesus. Come sit for a moment friend, as we share from God’s Word, how to live faithfully in a fear-filled world, just like Mary and Joseph and others did in their own frightening times. This Sweet Selah Moments Podcast is brought to you by Sweet Selah Ministries and Word Radio.

Nicole (00:35):

Welcome to the Sweet Selah Moments Podcast. This is episode 63, Faith Filled Living in a Fearful World Series, Joseph’s Story: Dare to Obey. Sharon, it is hard to obey God’s commands at times. Obedience comes hard for us stubborn human, and it even comes hard for my dogs. I’ve been working on training Daisy since we got her about a year ago and she does fairly well, but goodness, she is stubborn about listening when she is outside and sees something she wants to investigate. If there is prey about and by prey I mean a squirrel, a chipmunk, a moth or a leaf, forget it. I may as well be calling to a tree. I need her to be better at my recall command so she doesn’t run off and get lost in the woods or hit by a car. This is a good command for her to learn to obey. And I reward her when she does come to me, but sometimes I see her look at me and then still choose the leaf.

Sharon (01:28):

Oh my goodness. And yeah, that’s a command that’s for her good. You’re right. And aren’t we silly? Cause all God’s commands are for our good.

Nicole (01:36):

I know! Just as silly as my silly puppy. How about you, Sharon? Can you think of a time in your life where it comes hard to obey even though you know you should?

Sharon (01:45):

Oh, I can think of several times, Nicole, when it would have been much easier to fade into the crowd and not be obedient to the Lord. You know, when I was barely 18, I worked as a waitress in sort of a high-end restaurant. It was a steak and lobster kind of place and the tips were great. I mean back then, and we’re talking over 40 years ago, $70 a night in tips. So I did really well.

Nicole (02:09):

Wow, that is good.

Sharon (02:09):

Yeah. And I reported them because that’s what they asked me to do. They said report your tips. So I would report my tips. What I didn’t know was that I was the only waitress who didn’t lie about my tips. Every other waitress would say, oh, I made $15. And I’m like, I made $85.

Nicole (02:30):

You must really like her (laughing)?

Sharon (02:33):

So they discovered that I was reporting on my tips and they ganged up on me one night. Literally I was standing in a circle with enraged waitresses all around me saying, how could you do this to us? The IRS is going to look at our tip report and your tip report. And they’re going to discover that we’re cheating. They were so mad at me.

Nicole (02:54):

Oh my goodness.

Sharon (02:57):

And I’m just eighteen.

Nicole (02:57):

That would have been scary

Sharon (02:59):

I was a baby and these were hardened women, you know, that were just ticked off. And it was really, really hard to continue to obey God with that command. But as far as I understood Jesus paid taxes, even if he took the money out of fish mouths right?

Nicole (03:14):

True, he still paid them.

Sharon (03:14):

Right, we’re to submit to the authorities placed over us. So I had to, I had to stand up for that and dare to obey God when it would have been way easier to fade into the background.

Nicole (03:26):

Yeah, and not worry about getting beat up. [inaudible].

Sharon (03:30):

Oh my word. You know, it’s also hard to obey when your emotions tell you something different. I can remember another story when Ray and I were new to Portsmouth Christian Academy and I was on this committee to plan an event. And one lady on this committee, just everything I said, she didn’t like it. She was kind of mad at the school, which meant that I represented the school, I guess. And so everything was a no. Just a no, just a no. It was really hard to get anything done. And I was getting really annoyed with her. So one day I was not being very Christ-like and I was complaining about her to another person, which is totally not what one should do. And the other person who was a very godly woman looked at me and she said, so are you praying blessing over her head? Oh, and I’m like, uh, no, I’m not praying blessing for her at all. As a matter of fact, I, I would love her to leave the committee. Right? So, but it really convicted me. And it was a hard obedience, Nicole, but I took it seriously. And every night I prayed blessing by name for this woman that was making my life miserable.

Nicole (04:40):

She had no idea what was coming for her.

Sharon (04:41):

Oh, for crying out loud. I prayed that God would bless her with his peace, with his joy, that she would know his love, that she would just feel all warmed by him. I started to love her because I was praying nice things about her instead of (Nicole: “That’s amazing”) of whining. Do you know what happened at the end?

Nicole (04:57):

What?

Sharon (04:57):

We became friends and when the committee was over and you know, she really did warm up. And I don’t know if it was my attitude for praying or if God just really did a work in her, but she said, oh, I wish this wasn’t over. I want to continue to do this together. It was so much fun.

Nicole (05:13):

Wow. That’s amazing.

Sharon (05:16):

Isn’t that the best story?

Nicole (05:17):

That’s really cool.

Sharon (05:18):

Even though it starts out really humbling and humiliating for me.

Nicole (05:21):

I need to remember that and pray more.

Sharon (05:22):

It was an act of obedience for me to pray blessing for an enemy, basically, which the Bible tells us to do that yielded such beautiful fruit.

Nicole (05:31):

Oh, I love that. That’s really hard to do sometimes you know, even when we clearly know it’s what we need to do?

Sharon (05:37):

It is hard and yet it reaps such dividends. So next time you have an enemy pray blessing on their head. Oh God bless them. That’s hard at first, but it works well.

Nicole (05:48):

Yes. I love it.

Sharon (05:49):

All right. Well today we’re going to look at how Joseph, father/adopted father of Jesus dared to be different, just like Elizabeth and Zechariah last week and how he consistently obeyed. I love his obedience, even (to) confusing commands, what seemed very confusing from God. Nicole, I love this good, quiet man. Tell us what Joseph probably thought his life would look like before Mary was chosen to carry Messiah in her womb. What do you think?

Nicole (06:17):

Hmm, I’m thinking it was a little bit different than what transpired, but I think I can imagine him wanting to build like a nice little home for him and Mary and any kiddos that would come much later, not as they got married. Maybe build a little workshop and get his business going in Nazareth. And he’d maybe even hope for a son to teach him the family trade. I doubt he imagined his marriage starting out with a miracle pregnancy and you know, doubts and confusion on his part, or the condemnation from the people around them who didn’t quite believe the story of an immaculate conception.

Sharon (06:48):

Exactly. Oh my goodness. Well, last week we were in Luke chapter one. To read Joseph’s story we’re going to turn to Matthew chapter one. We’ll rotate verses beginning with you, Nicole, reading Matthew 1:18.

Nicole (07:02):

All right, verse 18: “This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother Mary was engaged to be married to Joseph, but before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Sharon (07:15):

“Joseph to whom she was engaged was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly. So he decided to break the engagement quietly.”

Nicole (07:25):

“As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, ‘Joseph son of David’, the angel said, ‘do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit.”

Sharon (07:36):

“And she will have a son and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

Nicole (07:43):

“All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet.”

Sharon (07:46):

“Look, the Virgin will conceive a child. She will give birth to a son and they will call him Emmanuel, which means God is with us.”

Nicole (07:57):

“When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife.”

Sharon (08:02):

“But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.” You know, Nicole, this is so rich I want to chat about this verse by verse and look at Joseph’s incredible faith and obedience. So I’m going to read verse 18 again and then talk about it. And then you can do the next verse, okay? Let us examine these scriptures.

Nicole (08:22):

Learn more about Joseph.

Sharon (08:22):

Verse 18, here it is again: “This is how Jesus, the Messiah was born.” Just that start is so cool. Matthew is telling us, okay, this is how it started. This is how it happened. So, “His mother Mary was engaged to be married to Joseph, but before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Okay. So Joseph’s engaged and probably quite excited, like you were imagining, about his upcoming wedding to Mary. I can’t imagine the shock he must have had when he finds out she’s pregnant. Does she tell him what happened right away? It doesn’t say. I, all the time, I’m like, I want more details.

Nicole (09:01):

I know. I want so much more details.

Sharon (09:03):

Yes. Did she run and say, ‘Joseph, you’re not going to believe what just happened. I’m about to get pregnant by the Holy Spirit’? Or did she wait until she was showing? I have no idea. I have no idea, but regardless, the baby placed in her was special. It was placed in the womb by God himself, Jesus, part of the Trinity, shrunk to a teeny size and growing as all humans do in a womb, it’s unfathomable.

Nicole (09:28):

It is.

Sharon (09:29):

Just unfathomable. Anyway, however Joseph learns, his life has just been turned upside down in a major, life-altering, for the rest of his life, way. I can’t imagine his shock and his dismay.

Nicole (09:42):

I know, unfaithfulness can feel like the ultimate betrayal between a couple and this virgin birth was the one and only of its kind.

Sharon (09:49):

True.

Nicole (09:49):

So he had never heard of this before and how to try to work all this out in his mind… probably alongside being broken-hearted.

Sharon (09:56):

Yes. It must have hurt so badly at first.

Nicole (10:00):

Oh yeah.

Sharon (10:01):

Yeah, yeah.

Nicole (10:02):

So, well, let’s see how he reacts. I’m going to read verse 19: “Joseph to whom she was engaged was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly. So he decided to break the engagement quietly.” I love this verse. It doesn’t say he confronted her and demanded an answer. And I mean, maybe he did and they didn’t record it. But the fact that he wanted to divorce her privately was so kind, he really cared about Mary. She would have been ruined in those days or even stoned to death for this unwed pregnancy. And he was trying to protect her and it says he was righteous. So he was clearly talking to God about what he should do with all this.

Sharon (10:38):

I love that. I love that he didn’t want to disgrace her, even though at that point, it surely appeared that she’d disgraced herself.

Nicole (10:45):

Right.

Sharon (10:46):

What a gentle man.

Nicole (10:48):

So sweet.

Sharon (10:48):

Oh my goodness. Well, moving on, verse 20: “As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, ‘Joseph son of David,’ the angel said, ‘do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit’.” I love what he says, son of David, because Matthew’s big on the Jewish history. And so Joseph is son of David and from David comes Messiah. And even though Joseph is only the adoptive father, that line is there. So it’s just so cool.

Nicole (11:20):

That is pretty neat.

Sharon (11:21):

And I love at the beginning where he says, where the verse says, as he considered this, as Joseph’s considering, he’s obviously not a hot tempered guy who flies off the handle and makes impetuous decisions he later regrets.

Nicole (11:35):

Right.

Sharon (11:35):

He starts with consideration. Oh my goodness. If I could learn that— it would be so good.

Nicole (11:40):

I know, It’s a much better way to react.

Sharon (11:41):

Even in something this devastating he waits. He thinks before he acts. Oh, Joseph, I want to be more like you. And because he waits and takes his time, he hasn’t acted rashly yet when he has that dream. And is told to marry Mary, that is so hard to say, (Nicole: I know) because the baby is really super-naturally conceived. Wowsers.

Nicole (12:05):

Yeah.

Sharon (12:05):

That’s a clear dream. You know, my dreams are just like a random slideshow that make no sense, no consistent order. I wake up sometimes going, what, what was that? But his was clear so I feel like it was more like a vision dream.

Nicole (12:19):

Right, right.

Sharon (12:19):

He is spoken directly to, by an angel and he’s told what to do.

Nicole (12:24):

That’s so nice. Joseph, you’re such a good guy.

Sharon (12:26):

It was so kind of God to do that for him wasn’t it?

Nicole (12:28):

Yeah, because he was well, that’s the thing. God is so nice because Joseph was sitting there considering, and God came to him and gave him clear direction. You know if we need wisdom, God says to ask it.

Sharon (12:38):

And he got it.

Nicole (12:38):

And he gave wisdom to Joseph before he went off and did something rash. So that was, that was nice.

Sharon (12:44):

It was so good.

Nicole (12:44):

This is so good. All right. So let’s see what happens next in verse 21. “And she will have a son and you are to name him Jesus. For, he will save his people from their sins. I think it’s so cool how God continued to unfold this big plan for Joseph, you know? What Jesus would do and just how special he was going to be. I think this would have helped Joseph feel more a part of this miracle as he was not the biological dad.

Sharon (13:07):

Correct.

Nicole (13:08):

Yeah. So, I can’t even imagine what Joseph would have thought as he heard this and pondered what it would be like to be the earthly father of the Messiah.

Sharon (13:17):

I know.

Nicole (13:17):

To raise up the Messiah.

Sharon (13:20):

How do you teach the one who made everything? Right?

Nicole (13:24):

Yeah, that’s a huge task.

Sharon (13:26):

And how much would Jesus know coming out of the womb? I don’t think we still know that. You know, what, what was in his brains when he was an infant and how did his thinking grow and his mind grow as he got older? It must have been unnerving a bit.

Nicole (13:42):

Right.

Sharon (13:42):

Wow. I’m holding God. I’m holding the son of God in my hands and I’m responsible for him.

Nicole (13:47):

How aware is he of what’s happening? Right. Was he a terrible toddler? Did he understand that he was the son of God even at two? Like, I don’t know. I want to know.

Sharon (13:55):

Yes! Yeah, yeah. Well, let’s read two verses now that are kind of an aside written by Matthew, who’s going to explain to us, the readers, exactly how significant the birth will be. So we’re kind of walking away from the storyline and Matthew’s going to just kind of whisper us a little extra. So verse 22 and 23: “All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet. And then Matthew quotes from Isaiah, “Look, the Virgin will conceive a child. She will give birth to a son and they will call him Emmanuel, which means God is with us.” So Matthew wants his readers to know that God had planned this miracle out long, long ago. I mean, Isaiah was centuries earlier and he’s quoted here. It’s so fun to me to think that God pulled back the curtain on time. So that Isaiah saw into the future that a Virgin, dear pure Mary, would conceive a child. It’s so specific and so amazing. What detail to know that. And Isaiah knew also that somehow Jesus would be quote “God with us”. So the Trinity is a mystery, but even back then, Isaiah got to see a glimpse of Trinity. God is so big and so grand that he is Three in One, Jesus is God with skin on. And Isaiah centuries earlier saw that incarnation. God taking on flesh, feeling humanity’s pains and sorrows, even feeling what it’s like to be in a womb and enter the world helpless. I mean, infants are helpless. They die if they’re not taken care of.

Nicole (15:35):

Right.

Sharon (15:35):

Right, it’s not like baby turtles. Have you ever seen the little turtles that just kind of crawl out of the sand and humdy, humdy ho, they’re on their own?

Nicole (15:41):

Oh yeah. And half of them get eaten on their way to the water. It’s just like this death march, to escape…like two of them make it. Oh no!

Sharon (15:42):

I know, it’s so sad.

Nicole (15:42):

It is.

Sharon (15:50):

And so, but a human infant cannot survive, it can’t.

Nicole (15:56):

No. And what other God, in what other religion in what other time has ever put himself in such an incredibly vulnerable position to truly say he has been through everything we have been through?

Sharon (16:06):

Every single thing from the moment of conception.

Nicole (16:09):

Everything. Yeah, colic, I mean, everything, things you don’t even ask. I kind of bypass over his infancy and toddler hood, but you think about that, like that’s really incredible.

Sharon (16:19):

All of it. All of it. And entrusted to probably a teenage mother?

Nicole (16:23):

Right.

Sharon (16:23):

And Joseph, our quiet, obedient, man. They were chosen well.

Nicole (16:27):

They were.

Sharon (16:28):

They were chosen well and we’re learning so much about them.

Nicole (16:32):

We are. Let’s keep reading about Joseph and what else he did.

Sharon (16:34):

All right-y.

Nicole (16:35):

So verse 24 and 25: “When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife, but he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.” So here we end on Joseph’s total obedience in marrying Mary, denying his fears and doubts and his normal marital intimacies to further prove the holiness of this baby. He is also obedient in naming Jesus. He just did it all. Just as the angel said. This was no small thing, Sharon, this has got to have severely hurt his reputation and his income as people probably avoided, you know, possibly avoided hiring him as a carpenter because of his association with Mary, you know, the girl that got pregnant before she was married and sticking with her in her story of innocence, his courage here is remarkable.

Sharon (17:25):

I agree. It is. Joseph obeyed when it was hard.

Nicole (17:28):

Yes.

Sharon (17:29):

And it was going to alter his entire life.

Nicole (17:31):

Absolutely.

Sharon (17:32):

Further on in the story Joseph has to obey Rome and Caesar Augustus who decides that all the world should be controlled and taxed. You know, Nicole, I, I have to say it in the old King James Version because that’s how I memorized it and that’s how it is in Charlie Brown.

Nicole (17:45):

Yes, I know. You can’t get away from that.

Sharon (17:47):

Linus, the blanket: “And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.” It just has to be said that way.

Nicole (17:59):

It has to be, no other way.

Sharon (17:59):

So off Joseph and Mary go with Mary highly pregnant, to Bethlehem in obedience once again, this time to Rome. Nicole, you have been pregnant much more recently than myself. Talk to us about what that trip would have been like to Bethlehem in the ninth month of pregnancy.

Nicole (18:16):

Oh my goodness. Poor Mary is all I can say. I don’t even want to imagine how uncomfortable traveling on a donkey would be super pregnant, because you’re huge. And a donkey is a rough ride. It wasn’t this smooth thoroughbred horse that gently pranced her there.

Sharon (18:31):

No.

Nicole (18:32):

It was a stubby little donkey probably plodding along none too gently.

Sharon (18:36):

Oh my.

Nicole (18:36):

And I think about Mary, like this was her first pregnancy and she probably didn’t know what to expect. So, you know, any aches or pains along the way, it might’ve made her nervous. And we all know babies don’t wait for anything. When they decide to come, there’s no stopping labor. And then to finally get there and to be in labor and be miles and miles away from helping family and no midwife. They didn’t mention having a midwife there. It’s just her and poor Joseph bringing the Messiah into the world. I just, I try to imagine how they delivered him in a barn. A modern birthing room is filled to the max with baby and medical supplies for just about anything you could possibly need. But what did they use, Sharon? How did they clean up baby Jesus? Like in the water trough? Like?

Sharon (19:18):

Yeah.

Nicole (19:18):

I can’t wait to hear Mary tell us Jesus’ his birth story in heaven. I just want to hear all the details.

Sharon (19:24):

Me too. Let’s sit down together.

Nicole (19:25):

Yes.

Sharon (19:26):

Oh, my goodness.

Nicole (19:27):

How they cut the cord? I have so many questions.

Sharon (19:30):

Yes. And what, how much did they even know about birth and to be taken away from their village, where at least presumably their parents were still speaking to them anyways and might have helped them. They’re by themselves.

Nicole (19:41):

I know.

Sharon (19:41):

Oh my goodness.

Nicole (19:42):

What a time.

Sharon (19:42):

Yeah. Yeah. And no matter what was going on in his world, Joseph just quietly did the next thing. What needed to be done.

Nicole (19:48):

Delivered a baby.

Sharon (19:50):

I know just a solid guy. No histrionics. Okay. So now we’re going to Bethlehem. No breakdowns that are recorded anyways. Just obedience. You know, that is how we’re supposed to live in faith no matter how fearful our world is, we’re supposed to just walk daily in obedience to God’s commands. No matter what, I know these facts, no matter what’s happening in the world, I know I’m to love my neighbors and my enemies. I’m to love my husband. I can do that no matter what’s going on in my world. I know that I am to pray often and seek God often and lean on him and talk about him to others. That can happen no matter where I am in this world. I know that I’m able to turn every worry over to him immediately. That’s what I’m supposed to do with them and dwell on the things that are good and right, and honorable and not dwell on all the ugly things. I can do this no matter how bad the turmoil is around me, this is what grounds me sometimes when you know, what can I still do when I’m in this hard season, I can still love.

Nicole (20:55):

That’s a great question. What can I still do?

Sharon (20:59):

I can still pray. What can I still do? All right. What if I’m thrown in prison, I can still love.

Nicole (21:02):

Yes.

Sharon (21:02):

Even there I can still pray. I can still not allow worries to consume me. So.

Nicole (21:07):

Yeah. Oh, that’s so good.

Sharon (21:08):

Yup. And that’s what they did. Everything’s upside down for them, but they still obeyed. They still did what they could do. (Nicole: Yeah.) So, well, Nicole, why don’t you read for us one last Joseph passage that speaks of his obedience and it’s actually a super scary story, speaking of living in a fear-filled world.

Nicole (21:25):

Yeah, they definitely did. This is so frightening. This next passage and it’s every parent’s worst nightmare. So I’m going to be reading from Matthew 2:13-23: “After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, ‘Get up, flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,’ the angel said, ‘Stay there until I tell you to return because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.’ That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet, ‘I called my son out of Egypt’. Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, based on the wise men’s report of the Star’s first appearance. Herod’s brutal actions fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah, ‘A cry was heard in Ramah weeping and great mourning. Rachel weeps for her children refusing to be comforted for they are dead’. When Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt. ‘Get up,’ the angel said, ‘take the child and his mother back to the land of Israel because those who were trying to kill the child are dead.’ So Joseph got up and returned to the land of Israel with Jesus and his mother. But when he learned that the new ruler of Judea was Herod’s son, he was afraid to go there. Then after being warned in a dream, he left for the region of Galilee. So the family went and lived in a town called Nazareth. This fulfilled what the prophets had said, ‘he will be called a Nazarene’.”

Sharon (23:00):

Don’t you love how Matthew is like, and the prophecy about Egypt and the prophecy about being a Nazarene?

Nicole (23:05):

Super cool. It keeps connecting the Old Testament prophecy.

Sharon (23:08):

I know and I think that must have been so much fun for the first century Christians once Jesus had died and rose again, to look back and say, oh, look at this scripture, it was fulfilled in Jesus. Look at this scripture, it was fulfilled in Jesus!

Nicole (23:23):

Yeah, that is really cool.

Sharon (23:25):

It’s so neat. Also, Joseph had a lot of dreams.

Nicole (23:28):

He did, didn’t he?

Sharon (23:28):

Oh my goodness. Probably because Joseph was obedient. All God had to do was speak to him and Joseph did it.

Nicole (23:35):

Wow, yeah.

Sharon (23:36):

Which is one of the reasons I know he was chosen to be the human father of Jesus. I’m counting four dreams. First, the dream that said, marry Mary. Yes, sir. He did it. Second, the dream that told him to flee to Egypt. That night he went, that night. Third, the dream that told him it was safe to return. And fourth, the dream that confirmed Joseph’s thoughts that he should not live near Herod’s son, but live further away in an obscure town Nazareth, which is actually where it all began. Nicole, what would it have been like trying to move to a foreign country on no notice, like middle of the night, get up, we’re going to Egypt. Can you imagine what if that happened to us today even? Think of you and Josh with four kids and two puppies.

Nicole (24:22):

What would we pack, what would we grab?. It’s hard to wrap your head around.

Sharon (24:24):

And it’s the middle of the night. And Josh is like, Nicole, wake up. We’re going to Egypt.

Nicole (24:30):

What?

Sharon (24:30):

I know, you can’t hardly even imagine it.

Nicole (24:32):

I don’t even have gas in the van. (laughing)

Sharon (24:33):

Oh, for crying out loud. So anyways, this is with a young child probably under two, right? Because Herod was after kids two and under. Tell me about it. What would that have looked like?

Nicole (24:43):

This must have been so tough on them, because think about a toddler. They’re so needy and require constant watching, even if they are the Messiah and not sinning I’m sure, because they get into everything and toddlers need a good schedule for napping and such and they’re kind of particular. So to have to pack up everything in a moment’s notice must have been exhausting and stressful for sure. Joseph probably just got his business going and now he had to leave it all behind and find new work in Egypt in another country.

Sharon (25:09):

In another country.

Nicole (25:10):

Where he didn’t know any contacts or anything.

Sharon (25:12):

Unbelievable.

Nicole (25:12):

And just, and not to mention the terror of what was happening around them as they sought out, you know, and murdered all the other toddler and baby boys around them. Oh, it’s just so scary. And then settling into a new house with a young child is tough, but a whole new culture.

Sharon (25:26):

Wow.

Nicole (25:27):

It’s just, that’s a lot. Poor Mary and Joseph, that would have been so stressful.

Sharon (25:31):

So stressful. I can remember just moving to Germany and trying to understand the language, the road networks, where are doctors here, all that stuff. And they would have had to, you know, find supplies in a new place.

Nicole (25:45):

Oh, right? Where am I going to get diapers for him and where are we going to find the food? Who’s going to help us if he is sick, where’s the local doctor? We can’t speak the language. So much.

Sharon (25:55):

So much, so much, so much, I am so struck by how Joseph’s life became way more exciting than he wanted. You know, we also face times we don’t want, you know, and I’m reminded of Corrie ten Boom. One of my heroes of the faith from, you know, not that long ago was Corrie. Basically, (a) single woman, lived with her mom and dad in Holland and was a watchmaker’s daughter, worked in the watch shop. She loved mentally handicapped adults. And so she worked with them and did little Sunday school lessons, but basically, you know, an obscure little life until her fifties. And then, you know, you turn 50 and all of a sudden you’re hiding Jews in a special compartment you’ve created behind your piano in a wall and you’re feeding them. You’re bargaining for food and you’re getting forged passports to smuggle them out of the country.

Nicole (26:48):

Scary business.

Sharon (26:50):

And then you’re in a concentration camp, leading Bible studies there and thanking God for fleas because that keeps all the guards out of the concentration camp room where you are.

Nicole (27:00):

Oh, I remember that.

Sharon (27:00):

And then in your eighties, you’re a touring the world talking about Jesus. Do you think at 45 Corrie ten Boom had any earthly idea?

Nicole (27:11):

Probably not in the least, of where God was going to take her.

Sharon (27:14):

No, no. So just never say never. That’s all I have to say. Who knows what you and I will be doing in our eighties?

Nicole (27:19):

Until our last breath, he could use us.

Sharon (27:20):

He can use us and it could be an adventure on a grand scale, just the way it is. So just like Corrie ten Boom and like Joseph. (Nicole: Yeah.) We need to be willing to obey. No matter what reversals in fortune come, no matter what hard things come to you and me and it almost chokes me up a little bit because, you know, I kind of like my life just the way it is.

Nicole (27:43):

I know. It could be scary to be used by God suddenly.

Sharon (27:45):

Yeah, yeah. Life can change on the drop of a hat.

Nicole (27:48):

Absolutely.

Sharon (27:49):

And if the Lord calls us to a very different life than we expect, he’s in charge, not us. He didn’t promise us easy. He never did. (Nicole: Nope.) So Nicole, how does one keep oneself open to the Lord and perhaps unexpected turns in a journey.

Nicole (28:03):

Yeah. All of a sudden you’re sitting there quiet and God calls you to something great. I think for us to be ready for these big things that very well might come, we really need to work on obeying God in the little things, just like Mary and Joseph did. Get up and go. Marry Mary, do this, name the child. You know, righteousness comes from spending time with God and becoming more like him. Joseph was considered a righteous man and his walk with God gave him the courage to overcome his fears and obey God. It gave him the faith to obey God through some really scary and uncertain callings on his life.

Sharon (28:37):

I love it. We don’t see much more of him. He shows up briefly when Jesus is twelve, by the time Jesus dies on the cross he seems to be gone from the picture cause Jesus asks John to take care of Mary. I wonder if God spared him from the agony of seeing his son die. I don’t know. (Nicole: I know.) But he was an obedient man to the very end. And there’s so much to learn about that. Simple things, like you said, doing the obedience in the small things. So even though we live in fear-filled times, let’s be faithful in the small things and let’s obey. Let’s pray. Oh, heavenly Father, thank you for Joseph. A man you knew would obey when it was critical. I mean, Jesus would have been killed if Joseph hadn’t gotten up that night and taken Mary to Egypt and you knew he would. Father help us to be like Joseph. Help us to obey you in easy times so we’re ready to obey you if the hard times come. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Nicole (29:40):

Amen. Thanks for listening friends. Let’s dare to be different and obey in our culture no matter what. How are you doing with your Christmas prep? Want some ideas of things to do to incorporate Christian truths into your family? Check out episodes 24, 25, oh sorry, 25, 26 and 27. You can listen to 24 too. But, 25, 26 and 27 have some ideas for yourself and your kiddos to help keep Christ in Christmas. Want to make our Christmas merry? Please donate if you can. Our podcast taping costs us $200 a month. We could use some help, go to SweetSelah.org/donations and give as you can and do come back next week for the last episode of season four, episode 64 in our Faithful Living in a Fear-filled World Series, we call it Dare to Trust: Mary’s Story.

Speaker 2 (30:32):

We are so glad you stopped for a while with us. This Sweet Selah Moments Podcast is a co-operative production of Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries. More information about this podcast can be found@SweetSelah.org. Thank you for joining us.

 

You can download and print the transcript here.

 

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