Matthew 2:13-18 — Why Did Joseph Hear From God So Much in Matthew 2? Divine Guidance Depends on Prepared Hearts!

Posted: August 27, 2015 in Gospel of Matthew

Matthew 2:13-18 — In church leadership, you often find that no matter how many times or how many different ways you communicate with people, some will say, “Well, I never heard about that!” Sometimes, you have just have to smile knowing that there was multiple printed references in the bulletin, announcements from the stage, churchwide emails and social media posts, personal emails from leaders and so on. Sometimes, people just zone out and ignore the information that is readily available. Much of it can be traced the cluttered media age in which we live. People often have now so much much information to deal with that they become numb to it all. They tune out. I think this concept can be as true with our relationships with God as it is with the flow of information in church.

Have you ever wondered why some people are so in tune with God and why others, maybe you and me, who have trouble hearing from God. We have a perfect example right here in this passage. Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, has now in this passage heard twice from God as it relates to his fatherhood and protection of the child Jesus. It is a reminder to us that divine guidance only can come through prepared hearts.

Although we do not hear anymore references to a living Joseph after Matthew 2, he is prevalent here in the first two chapters in Matthew. But the glimpse that we see of Joseph here is one of a devout believer in the God of Israel. He seems to be a man in tune with the Spirit of God. He hears from God when Mary’s life could have been in danger. He hears from God when young Jesus’ life could have been in danger. The fact that Joseph had these visions are obvious examples of a man that was a true believer in God. For him to hear from God in these direct ways, he must have been a person that lived out his faith everyday in every possible way. You wonder why Jesus was not born to a family of the religious elite in Jerusalem. I dare say that this is why. Joseph was probably one of the few people of the day that took his relationship with the Lord seriously and made it a part of his everyday life. When we are humbly submitted to the Lord and seeking Him in everything that we do, it is much easier to hear from the Lord. When the Lord is part of your every thought and every action, it is much easier to hear from the Lord. It is when we submit to the Lord in prayer and seek to be intimate with Him that we can hear from the Lord more readily. Intimate prayer with the Lord is more than prayer over a meal or talking to God while you are mowing grass or taking your morning commute. Intimate time with the Lord is when we seriously commit to paying attention to Him alone in prayer. It is similar to marriage in that we get out of it what we put into it. How much more intimate are our relationships with our spouses when we make time to give them our undivided attention. Husband who do not understand their wives often it is because they fail to truly spend time with them where they give them their undivided attention. The same is true for wives concerning their husbands. Based on the evidence of Joseph’s hearing from God, it is logical to believe that Joseph was amazingly devoted to His Lord.

If we are not hearing from the Lord, not getting guidance from Him, maybe it is because we are not intimate with the Lord. How is your prayer life? How much is God a part of your daily life? You hear is so many times from people. I say it myself sometimes. We say, why can’t I hear from the Lord on this issue. Why won’t God tell me what to do? I don’t understand why God will not give me guidance on this issue. You’ve said these things before. Haven’t you? I know I sure have. I think God speaks to us daily. It is a matter of whether we are listening or not. When we pray while we are doing chores, exercising, are we really listening? Do we really spend time with God giving him our undivided attention? We let the white noise of the world around get in the way all too often. We let life’s cares get in the way. We let ourselves get in the way. We let worry get in the way. We let bills get in the way. We let our responsibilities of life get in the way. We let ourselves and the things that are important to us get in the way. We try to be our own gods. We try to handle and manage our own affairs and we only go to God when we cannot do it ourselves. Have we ever tried truly submitting to the Lord? Have we let the Lord be the central focus of everything that we do. Do we make Him a part of our every move throughout the day? Do we think of how we react to everyday situations and how that reaction would or would not bring glory to God? Do we think of God being right there with us in everything we do? Only a prepared heart can hear what God has to say to us. Our hearts are prepared by being totally submitted to God. We seek His will and not our own. We treat God like He is the Creator of the Universe and the Master of All Things instead of like a last resort vending machine. Push a button and get what WE want from God. How wrong of a pecking order to we have when we demand things from God instead of listening to the Almighty God in submission to His Greatness. Maybe this is why we read of Joseph hearing from God so often.

Father, help us to clear out all the clutter of life and busy thoughts and focus on you. Help us to be intimate with you like Joseph. Help us to make you a part of everything we do. Help us to think of you every minute of everything we do. Help us to seek your will and not our own. Help us to recognize the order of things where you are first and we are something after that. Help us to put you first in our lives and not our spouses, jobs, children, our grown-up toys and hobbies. Help us to seek you daily and constantly. Help us to view life as to how everything we do should bring glory to you. Simply, Lord, help us to be more intimate with you such that we can recognize your voice and act upon what you guide us to do. Help us to have prepared hearts that are receptive and in tune with you. Amen.

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