When Joseph found out that Mary was with child, he being a just man and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived (begotten) in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Now all of this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
Then, Joseph being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son (Matthew 1:18-25).
Before God’s plan was revealed to him through the angel, Joseph was in a dilemma. Mary was pregnant and he wasn’t the father. They were engaged to be married. How could he marry her now that she was carrying a child which wasn’t his? What was he going to do? The law required that she be stoned to death because it is written in Deuteronomy 22:20, 21: “But if the thing is true, and evidences of virginity are not found for the young woman, then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has done a disgraceful thing in Israel, to play the harlot in her father’s house. So you shall put away the evil from among you.”
Joseph, even though it would have been within his right to have Mary stoned while she was betrothed to him, didn’t make what she had done public. He kept it to himself and was just going to break off the engagement. What would Mary have done? Was she have gone away? Perhaps, spend time with her cousin, Elizabeth until the Baby was born. After what would have happened after the Baby was born? How would she have explained Him?
Thanks be to God who straightened this whole matter out. He had an angel encourage Joseph to marry Mary and explained to him why. Joseph was chosen to raise the Savior of the world. What he had imagined was a disaster, a dilemma turned out to be a greatest blessing imaginable. Mary hadn’t betrayed him. She had been chosen to bear a Son through a miraculous conception. After Jesus, her firstborn was born, Joseph knew her and they had other children.
Sometimes, when we say “yes” to God, it can come at a cost. It can cost us marriages, friendships, jobs, etc. In Mary’s case, it could have cost her her life if Joseph hadn’t kept her pregnancy to himself. However, we can always trust that God will intervene in our lives as He did in Joseph’s and Mary’s. He doesn’t leave call us into ministry and then leaves us on our own. He was aware of the turmoil Joseph was in and He eased his mind. Mary must have wondered what would become of her if Joseph decided not to marry her but God took care of that.
When God has a plan for your life, don’t worry about what others might say or think about you. Just, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding”;” (Proverbs 3:5).