While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.
And she gave birth to her firstborn son;
and she wrapped Him in cloths,
and laid Him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luke 2:6, 7
But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.
This is such a thrill! To fulfill prophecy Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Not just any Bethlehem, the specific town stated by God. And this child is the One whose goings forth were from eternity. God was born a man! How amazing! How wonderful! How thankful I am! He is the One who will be ruler. Hallelujah!
After coming into the house they saw the Child
with Mary His mother;
and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him.
Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him
gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Isn’t this worded great? They saw the Child with his mother. It doesn’t say they found the mother and child. They found the object of their search. They worshiped Him. They gave gifts to Him. It was all about Him. I love that!
I can’t wait to meet the object of my love. One day I will see the Man in glory. No longer a child. The One who gave His life for me. I will fall before Him in worship! Can’t wait!
"She will bear a Son;
and you shall call His name Jesus,
for He will save His people from their sins."
Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
"BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD
AND SHALL BEAR A SON,
AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,"
which translated means, "GOD WITH US."
And Joseph awoke from his sleep
and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him,
and took Mary as his wife,
but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.
The wonderful truth I’m thinking about today is that Jesus has the power to save. “He will save.” What a marvelous truth! This is why God became a man! Have you been saved from your sins?
So they sent a message to Joseph, saying,
"Your father charged before he died, saying,
'Thus you shall say to Joseph,
"Please forgive, I beg you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin,
for they did you wrong."
' And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father."
And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
Then his brothers also came and fell down before him and said,
"Behold, we are your servants."
But Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid, for am I in God's place?
"As for you, you meant evil against me,
but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result,
to preserve many people alive.
There are so many things I love in this passage.
Joseph wept when his brothers lied and said dad said to be nice to us. Why did he weep? I think it's because all this time his brothers were with him and didn’t really know him. It was heartbreaking.
Joseph understood the providence and working of God. He understood that he was not God. And that God used the things that happened to Joseph to work for a greater good. Wonderful perspective! Peace!
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good
to those who love God,
to those who are called according to His purpose.
The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,
Until Shiloh comes,
And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
I’m looking for Shiloh to come. The man. The bearer of rest.
He came once. He is coming gain.
That will change everything.
Even so come, Lord Jesus.
There are a lot of reasons I’m singing this carol today.
From Jesse’s stock upspringing,
On tender root has grown:
A rose by Prophet’s singing
To all the world made known.
The rose ’midst winter’s cold,
A lovely blossom bearing,
In former days foretold.
This rose then of my story
Isaiah did proclaim.
What God ordained in glory
By blessèd Mary came.
The Child the virgin bore,
The world’s salvation bringing
Through Him forevermore.
The rosebud small and tender
Gives fragrance every day.
And by its brilliant splendor
Makes darkness pass away.
True Man, yet very God,
From sin and death He saves us
And lightens every load.
Since all He comes to ransom,
By all be He adored;
The Infant born in Bethle’m,
The Saviour and the Lord.
Repeat the hymn again;
“To God on high be glory,
And peace on earth to men!”
He blessed Joseph, and said,
"The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,
The God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day,
The angel who has redeemed me from all evil,
Bless the lads;
And may my name live on in them,
And the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac;
And may they grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth."
Genesis 48:15, 16
I love Israel’s description of God. I could say the same thing.
The God before whom I walk.
The God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day.
The Angel who has redeemed me from all evil.
Wonderful wonderful Lord! Is he yours?
When I lie down with my fathers,
you shall carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place."
And he said, "I will do as you have said."
He said, "Swear to me." So he swore to him.
Then Israel bowed in worship at the head of the bed.
Genesis 47:30, 31
I love the end of Jacob’s life. What a transformation. He was a worshiper! He had come to appreciate and bow before God. Hebrews commends him…
By faith Jacob, as he was dying,
blessed each of the sons of Joseph,
and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.
That’s the way to go out! Better yet, the way to live!
I love happy reunions.
Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to Goshen to meet his father Israel;
as soon as he appeared before him,
he fell on his neck and wept on his neck a long time.
This moved me. It made me think about the reunion I’m waiting for. Seeing Jesus!
Jesus is alive and coming back soon. Don’t lose sight of that. I feel like I’m going to want to fall of His neck and weep for a long time out of sheer joy.
1 It may be at morn, when the day is awaking,
When sunlight through darkness and shadow is breaking,
That Jesus will come in the fullness of glory,
To receive from the world His own.
O Lord Jesus, how long, how long
Ere we shout the glad song,
Amen. Hallelujah! Amen.
2 It may be at midday, it may be at twilight,
It may be, perchance, that the blackness of midnight
Will burst into light in the blaze of His glory,
When Jesus receives His own. (Refrain)
3 While its hosts cry Hosanna, from heaven descending,
With glorified saints and the angels attending,
With grace on His brow, like a halo of glory,
Will Jesus receive His own. (Refrain)
4 O joy! O delight! should we go without dying,
No sickness, no sadness, no dread and no crying.
Caught up through the clouds with our Lord into glory,
When Jesus receives His own. (Refrain)
H. L. Turner
Then Joseph said to his brothers,
"I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?"
But his brothers could not answer him,
for they were dismayed at his presence.
Then Joseph said to his brothers,
"Please come closer to me."
And they came closer.
And he said, "I am your brother Joseph,
whom you sold into Egypt.
"Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves,
because you sold me here,
for God sent me before you to preserve life.
"For the famine has been in the land these two years,
and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting.
"God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth,
and to keep you alive by a great deliverance.
"Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here,
and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household
and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
But God! God works His purposes in the circumstances of our life. They may look happenstance, but God is working His will. He takes the ugly things and uses them for His glory. Like being thrown in a pit, taken to Egypt, thrown in jail, only to become leader of the world, to preserve life. Three times in this passage Joseph makes the point that it wasn’t his brothers doing this to him, it was God. I’m thankful for this God!
Judah to Joseph
”Now, therefore, when I come to your servant my father,
and the lad is not with us, since his life is bound up in the lad's life,
when he sees that the lad is not with us, he will die.
Thus your servants will bring the gray hair of your servant our father
down to Sheol in sorrow.
For your servant became surety for the lad to my father, saying,
“If I do not bring him back to you,
then let me bear the blame before my father forever.”
Now, therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the lad
a slave to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brothers.
For how shall I go up to my father if the lad is not with me--
for fear that I see the evil that would overtake my father?"
I love the change in Judah. He begs to remain a slave to Joseph in place of his brother and out of concern for his father. God changes people. Lovely!
I also loved that he wanted to be a substitute. This reminds me of Jesus who stepped in my place and was my substitute! That baby born in Bethlehem, became a man and took my sin and died in my place. Wonderful. Is He yours?
More than anything I would like to encourage you in your walk with God!