Tuesday, October 28, 2014

New Testament Devotional Series (1): Three Actions of A Righteous Man

Matthew 1:19 “And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man”…   NASU

Though Romans 3:10 (quoting Ps 14) says there is no one righteous, Matthew describes Joseph as a righteous man. The word righteous here seems to be in the Old Testament sense of the word, which meant someone who does the right thing. It does not mean that Joseph was justified or saved by his right acts. Still, there are three acts that Joseph took that show his character and his desire to be a Godly man and I believe we can certainly learn from them.

First, even though Joseph thought that Mary had betrayed their betrothal vow, he showed mercy. Rather than put Mary on trial in public, which could have led to her being stoned to death, he chose another legal option. He was going to send her away secretly (v19). God loves mercy and says that we should too.
Mic 6:8 says, “He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” NIV

Second, Joseph took time to consider (v20) before he acted. This gave time for the Lord to speak to him. How often do we neglect to take time to consider our actions and give the Lord time to speak to us? Before we take action we need to hear from the Lord. The psalmist says, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.” (Ps 40:1 NIV) We need this same patience. God hears our call and He answers. Ps 3:4 “To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill.” NIV

Third, Joseph is obedient to the Lord’s instructions (v 24). The right thing to do when we hear from the Lord is to follow His instructions. Too often, we want to have a debate with Him instead of just doing what He says. Even Moses did that when God gave him instructions (check out Ex 3). Why do we do that? We should know that whatever the Lord has us do, it will be for His glory and our good. Joseph didn’t argue, even though I am sure he knew that obedience to this command would bring certain scorn from others in his community. He obeyed anyway. He did the righteous thing. 2 John 6 “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands.” NIV

Lord help us to be merciful, to take time to consider the consequence of our actions and to obey your instructions.

God bless you,


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