Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Just Like Joseph

I love when God brings something out... you know... where you hear a verse for the 50th time or you read something and go "A-ha". 

I'm participating in the #Write31Days challenge, writing about Philippians 4:8.  I'm breaking down the verse, attribute by attribute, and talking about what that might look like in my life or highlighting examples of those attributes... trying to make a habit of  looking on the bright side of things instead of coddling my stinkin' thinkin'.

I'm also reading through Matthew with a Hello Mornings group, and am late getting started, as always...

So today it's the "whatever is right" part of the verse... or the "whatsoever is just."

And as I was reading the first portion of reading in Matthew, there it was. "Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily." (Matthew 1: 19).

Yep... the same word used in Philippians 4:8.  Translated from the Greek dikaios, this word can have several different meanings. "Righteous, observing divine laws; approved or acceptable of God." "In accordance to what is right."

I find it interesting that Joseph would be described this way.  After all, he had been chosen to be the earthly Father of the only perfect man... the Word made flesh.  He would have to observe divine laws... observe them as he sat at the table with the One who spoke them... possibly as he tried to teach the One who created him.  He would have to be righteous... observing what is right.  He would have to be approved or acceptable of God... because God would be residing with Him.

Can you just imagine???

Joseph was espoused to be married to Mary... now again, I'm no Biblical scholar, but basically this means that they were going to be married.  They were as good as married, they just hadn't made it official.

And she's pregnant. 

This is where the just part gets tricky.  See, just means "observing divine laws".  One of the laws given in the Old Testament talks about if someone is caught in adultery, they are to be killed.

Yes, you read that write.  No going on national TV on Jerry Springer and duking it out. in stoned or strangled.

If Joseph was going by the law, then that meant that Mary, his espoused wife, could be publicly humiliated and even killed.

But he was a just man... and he didn't want to see that happen.  Even before the angel spoke to him and told him that the baby in Mary's womb was going to be Jesus, his Savior... he paused. 

And then he acted in faith.

Again, I can't even imagine.... knowing that your son is the Son of God.

God with us. 

Thank You, Lord.

"Whatsoever is just... think on these things." Think on Joseph, who showed compassion.  Think of all of the right in this world, even in the midst of so much wrong... because it's there.  It's the Cincy football franchise who hired the player for their practice team so he could  have health insurance to pay for his little girl's cancer treatments.  (Let's Do It! ) It's the people who give back money they find laying on the street. It's holding the door open for someone else and treating them with common courtesy.  It's having courage to speak up and do what is right... what is just...

Just like Joseph.  Big shoes to fill, people... but through Christ all things are possible.


  1. HI Lauren, I found you through Write 31 Days and had to click when I saw you writing about Philippians 4:8. My post yesterday included this very verse. It's been special to me since my husband and I let a small group on The 4:8 Principle by Tommy Newberry. I'm going to love reading your blog and seeing how you break this verse down and apply it to your life.

  2. Yes, what a tremendous challenge for Joseph! I hadn't thought of the ongoing challenge, just the initial one. Thank the Lord for mercy: He sees everything we do--as Jesus saw Joseph--and still loves us.

  3. Loved it ...similar thread.... Read mine and compare...also my day 2 is on Matt 1 which I think you'll find interesting.... Let me know

  4. Oh wow, I would have never seen that connection. What a cool ah ha moment :) It really brings a new light to both verses.

  5. Excellent post, Lauren. How I love Philippians 4:8, and how I love how you've framed the life of Joseph in the context of this verse. You've made me look at something from a completely new and exciting perspective. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Lauren, thank you for connecting Phillipians 4:8 with Matthew 1:19. It's beautiful to consider these verses side by side. A definition of "Just" that I love is being willing to do what God requires. That is definitely Joseph.