July 19, 2024

Joseph’s Dream and Obedience

Matthew 1:18-25

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him. . . .

—  Matthew 1:24

Have you ever dreamed that an angel commanded you to do something? I’ve had some serious dreams, but I’ve never had a dream where I awoke convinced that God had told me to do something.

Joseph had that kind of a dream, though. He had become engaged to a young woman named Mary, but then he discovered she was pregnant—and he knew that he wasn’t the father. Being both a devout and decent man, Joseph decided to end the engagement quietly. In this way he was responding to the wisdom of his faith and the compassion in his heart. But he soon learned in a dream that God had a special plan for him. Before Joseph could act, an angel of the Lord commanded him to take Mary home as his wife. The angel said that her child was to be named Jesus because he would save the people from their sins. When Joseph awoke, he obeyed what God had commanded, taking Mary as his wife.

Joseph also had some other dreams that revealed God’s mysterious power (see Matthew 2). And in each case Joseph did as the Lord commanded.

Can God speak to us in the same way? Certainly he can, but God calls us in many ways, ordinary and extraordinary, to be obedient to his will in our daily lives. And when we trust and obey, as Joseph did, our obedience glorifies God and blesses the world.

Father, thank you for the mysterious and powerful ways you work in our world. Help us to obey and honor you, reflecting your glory. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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