Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to
Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And
Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send
her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared
to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife;
for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. “She will bear a Son; and
you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took
place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN
SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS
NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.” And Joseph awoke from
his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but
kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.
DREAM at night led to DETOUR in the morning! When Joseph first learned that Mary had conceived a baby, he conceived a plan of his own. He developed a detour regarding how he would secretly send Mary away. However, an angel told him in a dream not to be afraid to take her as his wife because the child she was carrying was conceived by the Holy Spirit. A detour of a detour took him back to his original DESTINATION or intention with Mary. It is a credit to Joseph that he obeyed the angel in his dream.
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the
east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we
saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” . . . After hearing the king, they went
their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and
stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly
with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they
fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him
gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned by God in a dream not to
return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.
Moving on to the second chapter of Matthew, we read about the journey of the Magi to a find the Messiah. For at least two years these men had been following a star that was leading them to Jesus. Although they were following a star rather than a dream, I see their act of obedience to divine direction as being similar to Joseph’s response to a dream. The star had been a reliable GPS leading them to their destination of the Christ child. After their visit to Bethlehem, they expected to retrace their steps home. DETOUR! An angel warned them in a DREAM to travel a different route to return to their original DESTINATION. Like Joseph, the Magi were obedient to directions given to them in a dream.
Now when they (the Magi) had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in
a dream and said, “Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain
there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him. So Joseph
got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt.
He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by
the Lord through the prophet: “OUT OF EGYPT I CALLED MY SON.”
Now we read the next two verses of Matthew 2. Here is another destination that appeared to be a DETOUR revealed through a DREAM. Once again an angel appeared to Joseph and this time told him to take his little family to Egypt, another DESTINATION, for the safety of Jesus. Joseph’s response to the dream’s directive was immediate. He did not even wait until morning to follow the demand of the angel.
But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
and said, “Get up, take the Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel; for those who
sought the Child’s life are dead.” So Joseph got up, took the Child and His mother, and came
into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his
father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Then after being warned by God in a dream, he left for
the regions of Galilee, and came and lived in a city called Nazareth. This was to fulfill what was
spoken through the prophets: “He shall be called a Nazarene.”
Another DREAM about a DETOUR with directions to another DESTINATION. After Herod died, an angel directed Joseph to take Mary and Jesus to Israel. Finally Joseph would return to Nazareth in Galilee, the location from which he and Mary began their journey. Joseph’s obedience to the Lord’s directions led him to his desired destination of home.
While both Joseph and the Magi may have thought their DREAMS resulted in DETOURS, in reality they were being obedient to the Lord regarding their DESTINATIONS. They were being used to help fulfill prophecies about the Messiah. Each time God spoke to Joseph and the Magi, it was for their good and the attainment of the greater eternal purposes of God for His Son Jesus. We may not have dreams like Joseph and Magi, or maybe we will. If God does give us a DREAM, He will have a special DESTINATION in mind; and it would not be a DETOUR from His perspective. It will always be to our best interest to heed His direction. We can never discount the way the Lord wants to direct our lives. He may have detours mapped out for our lives. Obedience should always be our response to DREAMS and DETOURS in order for us to reach the proper DESTINATIONS.
My Reader, what about you? Are you so determined about your DESTINATION that you are unable to capture a DREAM if God is directing you on a DETOUR?
*Highlighted phrases found in the quoted scriptures are the choice of the author.