God’s Unfolding Plan
Today’s Text: Matthew 1:20-21
WALKING THROUGH THE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
Alerting Joseph to the fact that his future bride was indeed the foreordained mother of the Redeemer, an unnamed angel appeared to her fiancé following the angel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary.
“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 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.’”
Choosing to implement His redemptive plan over the course of more than four thousand years, God meticulously revealed progress through the genealogies recorded in the Bible. Even in the revelation of the devastating consequences of Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden, there was an affirmation of hope when God enlightened Satan:
“I will put enmity between your seed and her seed: He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Gen. 3:15).
From Adam’s family, God chose Abel rather than first-born Cain. After Cain murdered Abel, God provided Seth in the line leading to the Savior (Gen. 4:25). The chosen line then threaded through Seth’s descendants—Enosh, Cainan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, and then Noah (Gen. 5).
God reiterated His promise and established His covenant for man’s redemption with Noah. Announcing His intention to destroy the rest of humanity with a global flood, God also gave Noah a blueprint-like plan for the ark. At the appointed time, Noah took seven family members with him into the ark and for more than a year, they floated on the waters of the Great Deluge.
After emerging from the ark, God’s plan continued to unfold through Noah’s son, Shem, and his descendants: Arphaxad, Salah, Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, Nahor, Terah and on to Abraham (Gen. 9:26; 11:10-27).
Entering into a unique relationship with Abraham, God made four unconditional promises—including the Messianic hope—that through his descendants all families of the earth would be blessed (Gen. 12:1-3).
Miraculously, when Abraham was a hundred, his wife Sarah gave birth to Isaac. God said,
“you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants [seed] after him” (Gen.17:19).
God restated His covenant to Isaac promising, “in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 26:3). Before Isaac’s wife, Rebekah, gave birth to twins, God revealed His sovereign choice of covenantal successor. It would not be the elder Esau, but the younger twin Jacob (Gen. 25:23).
Even though he was aware that God had chosen Jacob, Isaac attempted to contravene the prophecy given to Rebekah and insisted on bestowing the patriarchal blessing on Esau (Gen. 27:1-40). Well known and widely reported in Christian circles as a deceptive act, Rebekah, in-point-of fact, intervened to ensure God’s will would be fulfilled and the blessing would pass to Jacob as intended.
At Beth El, God confirmed the covenant to Jacob saying, “I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac . . . in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 28:13-14). God ultimately changed Jacob’s name to Israel (Jacob-Israel)—the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. Shortly before his death, Jacob’s blessing on his twelve sons distinguished Judah’s descendants as the particular family through whom the Savior would eventually come (Gen. 49:10).
Some 600 years later, God chose King David as the progenitor of the line through whom the Messiah would enter the world. As yesterday’s post revealed, Mary, the earthly mother of Jesus, descended through the Davidic Dynasty.
Nothing was left to chance or last minute improvisation in God’s plan for man’s redemption. Jesus’ entrance into the world was established in the foreknowledge of God who orders all things according to His sovereign will.
Every Christmas season is a striking reminder of God’s faithfulness in sending the promised Redeemer! Rather than allowing the pressure of frenetic activity during the holiday season to cause stress and anxiety, focus your heart and mind on God’s wonderful gift that makes redemption available to the whole world!
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. Rev. McCracken is known for authenticity in communicating biblical truth that makes his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author via Contact Form under ABOUT. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Emphasis added.)
1) Walking to Church (c. 1853). By George Henry Durrie (1820–1863) [PD-US, PD-Art], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
2) An Angel Speaks to Joseph in a Dream Concerning Mary’s Pregnancy (circa. 1886- 1894). By James Joseph Jacques Tissot (1836–1902) [PD-US, PD-Art] via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
Categories: Walking Through the Days of Christmas