Today’s Scripture – July 25, 2016

Matthew 2:19-23 (NIV)

After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel.  But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.”

There are many people who bring God all of their crises in prayer, but don’t like to bother Him with what they call “the small stuff.”  Things like healing from cancer or accidents are brought to the Lord as a matter of course.  But there are few who seek God for His input on things like where they live, what jobs they should pursue or take, where to go on vacation, or what kind of car to buy (or even whether or not to buy a new car in the first place).

Many people don’t believe that God really cares about the mundane details of everyday life.  But He really does.  Especially with those who belong to Him, He has plans and callings that impact every area of their lives, the large details as well as the small ones.

Joseph and Mary were really good at relying on God’s direction, and at seeking His input at every juncture.  When God informed them through an angel that the coast was clear back in Israel because Herod had died, they immediately headed back.  But once they entered the land and heard that Archelaus was ruling in Judah (a man who was a cruel and harsh tempered as his father, Herod, had been), they were in a quandary as to where to settle.  They sought God’s will, and He directed them to head north and settle back in Nazareth, the hometown of both Joseph and Mary’s youth (see Luke 1:26-27).

Joseph could have chosen on his own to live anywhere – even to go back to Egypt where it was safe.  But he realized that, as far as God is concerned, there are no inconsequential details in a person’s life.  He did not realize it at the time, but God had actually spoken through Isaiah an obscure prophecy that pointed to the fact that the Messiah would come from Nazareth.  (Isaiah 11:1 (NIV):  A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.  The Hebrew word for “Branch” is “netser,” which is very similar in sound to the place name Nazareth and the title Nazarene.)  Because Joseph was fully compliant to God’s will, that prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus.

Father, I must admit that I have sometimes believed that You were not really that interested in the mundane details of my life (or at least lived like that was my belief).  But I can see now that, as a person who was bought with the blood of Jesus, there are no mundane and inconsequential details in my life.  Every decision has potential to put me and keep me in line with Your will (to take me out of it).  Help me from now on to live this truth every day.  Amen.

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