In the Hall of Faith in Hebrews, we have a very good list of those who were known for their faith.
Take Job for example. God had confidence in Job. He knew that Job would swim if he were to suddenly find himself in the deep end of the pool. God had confidence enough in Job to sic Lucifer on him…which was a rotten deal but it goes back to the fact that EVERYTHING God does in your life is a blessing regardless of how it may feel.
Joseph though, he wasn’t thrown into the deep end. He made the choice to dive into the deep end because he trusted God to know what he was doing. Job had to deal with what came…Joseph made the choice to deal with what he knew would come. So, I ask you: who had more faith?
But there is always that unsaid rule that if you can foresee problems, there are probably 40% more that can’t be foreseen.
The census for example. This required he go back to his home town with a woman that was with child but that he hadn’t completed the marriage process with yet. Major scandal in that society. This probably led to the ‘no room at the inn’ that is part of the nativity story.
First, he had to make what was probably a three day journey with a pregnant woman. That would not be a delightful prospect when thinking of driving a car or riding in an airplane…but Mary rode a donkey. Scripture says she was well into her pregnancy at this time.
Secondly, after three days of this, they get to Bethlehem and find that nobody will give them a room. In those days, they didn’t have the Ramada Inn that you walked in and got a room. Bethlehem was not a big town. They may have had an established lodging facility but most of the lodging was provided by people.
What happened in that culture was that, if someone travelling knocked on your door, you were obligated to give them a place to sleep and meals. Nobody did this for Joseph and Mary. Not even his family (being as he was in Bethlehem, his home town.)
Bethlehem was probably crowded due to the census but a woman about to have a baby would probably have gotten higher on the priority list of getting a room. I think folks may have been trying to shun them for fear of being associated with scandal.
One person got them out of the weather and gave them a place in the barn (Luke 2:7.)Was this someone who wanted to help them but not actually take them into his home because of what others might think? But it did serve to fulfill prophecy (God’s plan does tend to do that.)
THEN, after the baby was born, the angel came to Joseph and told him to bug out with the family and leave the country…LEAVE the COUNTRY y’all (Matthew 2:13.)
After all of this came the real challenge though…raising a son. Times have changed. Men took their responsibilities more serious in those days. I would think Joseph more so because this was God’s child.
So let’s give Joseph a little more credit than he usually gets. Lets also learn from him how we can apply faith to our lives. To be like Joseph…making the right decision even when you KNOW you gonna get flack for it. I have to think he figured that no matter what hassle it would be, what could be more incredible than to be the earthly father figure to Jesus Christ…the Savior of all man-kind…the Lord of all creation…the only Son of the living God?