“Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.” (Matthew 1:19)
Surely, Joseph must have felt the same. A man of character, he knew what needed to be done when the news of Mary’s pregnancy whispered its poison through the settlement. And for whatever reason—maybe because he loved her and wanted to protect her or because the shame was too great—he chose to “put her away secretly.” Subtle and sensible, that was Joseph. And all because he was just and upright, wise in his own eyes.
God might have appreciated such a man. “Thank you, Joseph, for being gracious and willing to show great mercy when judgment was due.” God might have thought such a thing.
Except that Joseph was wrong. He had made a decision from partial knowledge, on the grounds of an assumption. What seemed to be right in his eyes, was all wrong in God’s eyes.
“There is a way that seems right to man, but in the end it leads only to death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
Humility pounds through this verse, nothing subtle about it, and we should all, right now, go to our knees and confess the rightness we feel about ourselves in our own eyes. We should pray for God’s eyes, for without his eyes we are blind. Pretending to see but seeing nothing at all.
Only divine intervention shifted Joseph’s perspective, and so too with us, without God’s revelation to us, we would have eyes only for ourselves and our ways.
Thanks be to God who sent Jesus—divine intervention—to make a New Covenant with us, that we might not only think we are wise, but that we might truly be wise. Not because we, ourselves, are just and sensible, law abiding citizens, but because He has written his law on our hearts and given us hearts of flesh, not stone. We have become heart-abiding citizens of God’s Kingdom.
“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened . . .” (Ephesians 1:18)
Friends, when you look at your lives, what are the confusing circumstances? What are the frustrations, the situations in which you know you are right and the other person wrong? What are the setbacks that have you staring at closed steel doors?
May you have the eyes of God today and his wisdom, not your own.