December 8: Read Matthew 1:24-25; 2:14, 21-23 ESV

As we have looked at each telling of Joseph’s encounters with God through dreams and angels, the common theme we see is Joseph obeying what he hears. Scripture never records that Joseph hesitates, stops to ask more questions, argues the instructions, or throws in the towel when the directives are hard. Joseph does as the Lord guides.

I’ve often wondered how Joseph could have such faith and obedience. What does he know about following the Lord that I haven’t learned yet? What experience has motivated such faith? What history of God’s character does he lean into to believe so clearly? I admit that in the face of the trials he had to endure I’m not sure I could respond the way Joseph does. I would like to think I could, but I won’t know until I’m at that point.

What I believe is that Joseph was taught at a young age to be attuned to the truth of God’s words. As a Jewish male, his childhood would have been filled with learning the Torah—the first 5 books of the Bible. He would have memorized large chunks of those books. And while memorizing is one thing, believing what you have memorized is another. In Joseph’s case, it would seem that in his learning and listening to the story of God and His people, he became attuned to the character of God. He learned through the stories that God’s word was true and trustworthy, and while he may not have always understood why God did what He did, what he likely learned was that God was consistent.

Journeying with God is about more than following; it’s more than doing what He says. It’s about being attuned to God’s heart and trusting His words. Knowing the God of the story is one thing; trusting Him reveals we can trust Him more. It’s a cycle. As we attune our hearts to God’s heart, we trust. As we trust, we attune our hearts even more. As we attune, we trust more. Do you see it? This is how Joseph could follow God’s directives. This is how Joseph could step into obedience. He was attuned to God’s heart.

Prayer: Lord, help me to attune my heart to yours. Help me to hear your words spoken in love and lean into trust. 

Reflection Questions:

Joseph likely memorized large chunks of the Torah since he was a Jewish male. Memorizing scripture is different than believing scripture. What are some promises/scriptures that you have memorized and believe. Why are these important to you?

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