About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

Home Page

Doing The Human Thing


Matthew 2:13 reads:


"When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. 'Get up,' he said, 'take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.'"


Herod, one of the most horrific tyrant rulers of the day was insanely angry.  He was hell bent on killing Jesus, so an angel told Joseph to escape to Egypt .  Can you even begin to imagine how Joseph might have felt after hearing Herod's plan, and that from an angel?  Could he have even begun to comprehend what life was throwing at him?  His wife had given birth to the Son of God, and he wasn't the biological father.  As difficult as that was to get his head around, it now appeared the most important human ever born might die before He had a chance to really live.  What in God's name was this all about?  In his attempt to do God's will, a horrifying calamity was now consuming his life. 


I picture Joseph being both curiously amazed and fearfully confused.  Could not the Almighty Creator God who impregnated his wife, as crazy as that sounds, protect his family from Herod?  Joseph would have surely known that God installs rulers into positions of power (Daniel 2:21, 4:17).  Was the universal King having trouble protecting His human Son from an earthly tyrant?  Furthermore, why was he told to do such a human thing as running from his problem?  Where was God's protective power?  When needing divine intervention, he was simply told to escape to Egypt.  


I'm convinced that God could have struck Herod dead, but He didn't.  God could have called upon those ten thousand angels to protect Joseph's family, but He didn't choose that option.  Instead, God told Joseph to do the human thing.  Just run for your life, was God's chosen solution.  Does that really sound like God?  As a man of faith, wouldn't running be perceived as a fearful lack of faith?  Should not a godly person solely trust God to do the divine thing?  Despite the divine protective power of God, it appears to me that doing the human thing in the midst of life's invasive problems is part of God's design for our earthly existence.    


In today's Christian world, some deny a problem's existence.  They call their denial faith.  Some actually acknowledge the problem while claiming that God will solve their problem.  Others, despite being criticized for a fear-filled lack of faith, do the human thing as they trust God for what they cannot do.


Genesis 1:26 states that God created us in a shadowy image of Himself, which includes the capability to rationally think issues through to a sensible conclusion.  Are we not, then, expected to use our God-given rational capacities by doing the human thing as we trust Him for that which is beyond our capabilities?  Inherent in the creation account is the fact that God intends for us to exist in a collaborative relationship with Himself, where both He and us have our respective spheres of responsibilities to facilitate.  We do the human thing.  He does the divine thing. 


God told Joseph to escape to a godless, immoral nation where Joseph, Mary, and Jesus would be protected from an anti-Christ regime.  Wow, who would have ever guessed that one?  It's clear to me, then, that as Christians we are called to do the human thing in the midst of life's problems as we trust God to do the divine thing that is beyond our ability to do.    

Home Page