Have you ever noticed how clearly God personally communicated with the characters of Christmas? God explains things to them, shows them when and where to go, warns them of dangers, and arranges amazing meetings for them. What a wonderful way to live with God communicating so clearly & powerfully.
From that familiar story of Christmas, we can pause and extract some powerful truths by observing what the Scriptures reveal about: Joseph & Mary, God’s Communication Methods & How God Chooses To Communicate & Guide Us Today.
It was nearly 2,000 years ago that God literally spoke to a young, teenaged couple. They had been engaged for marriage by their parents. Mary was probably between 14 and 16, and Joseph was perhaps between 18 and 20.
God frequently, personally, and clearly communicated with Joseph & Mary; and that is one of the most amazing elements of the Christmas story.
God Almighty instructs, commands, guides, warns, and leads Joseph & Mary; and does so for a documented period that spans the first 12 years of Christ’s life.
The Lord uses angel visits, dreams, as well as the Scriptures to call, protect, guide & direct them in this amazing time surrounding Christ’s birth. Here’s our first lesson:
1. THE SILENCE ENDED AGAIN & GOD SPEAKS
When the Christmas story opens, God breaks another period of recorded silence. This time the recorded silence lasted a bit more than 400 years.
The last time God had spoken, that He wants us to know about, is through the prophet Malachi, who recorded God’s Word in about 435 BC.
Then it was silence until in 6/7 BC, as Zacharias was offering incense at the Temple, God broke the silence and sent Gabriel to speak for Him. The Christmas story captures some amazing communications from God, recorded for us by Matthew & Luke. These ten specific, recorded events, shared with us by the God of Heaven are to show us what He wants us to know about His supernatural, direct, special revelation to humans:
1. God sends an Angel of the Lord to Joseph in a dream (Mat. 1:20);
2. God guides the Wise Men from the East with a star (Mat. 2:2, 9);
3. God warns the Wise Men in a dream (Mat. 2:12);
4. God sends an Angel of the Lord to Joseph in a dream (Mat. 2:13);
5. God sends an Angel of the Lord to Joseph in a dream (Mat. 2:19);
6. God warns Joseph in a dream (Mat. 2:22);
7. God sends an Angel of the Lord (Gabriel) to talk to Zacharias in the Temple (Luke 1:11-20);
8. God sends an Angel of the Lord (Gabriel) to talk to Mary (Luke 2:26-38);
9. God sends an Angel of the Lord to talk to the Shepherds (Luke 2:9-15);
10. God’s Spirit reveals & leads Simeon to Baby Jesus (Luke 2:26-27);
A question any serious student of knowing God would probably ask is:
2. WHAT IS GOD’S NORMAL PATTERN OF COMMUNICATION?
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