Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
This just in; God knows what He is doing! God chooses Joseph to be the husband of Mary. She is picked out, as was the custom, and leaves her in her fathers home to prepare a place as well as to possibly carry out his dowry agreement. While working in service or bringing the agreed dowry price, Joseph returns and finds that his bride to be is with child. Knowing the law, Joseph knew what could be done about the situation, as well as what would happen to Mary because of her decision and actions.
Though she had made a mistake he thought, Joseph decided to deal with her in private, and not to destroy her. Joseph knew that she would be stoned if she was exposed, so he sought a way to deal with her sin that didn’t end in death. Isn’t this just like our heavenly Father? He caught her, in what he believed to be sin, and as opposed to destroying her, sought a way to forgive and deal with her sin.
I praise God that he is compassionate towards us, and though the laws deemed for her to be punished, he had in mind to show mercy towards her. In my life time, I have been found in some circumstances that are wrong, but praise be to God that God sought not to give me what I had earned from my own actions.
Joseph was a man that had mercy as a part of his character. From this, we can summarize that he was not just merciful, but that he administered grace to those he dealt with. Even when wronged, Joseph was willing to move on without having the full measure of the law taken towards a person whom was found to be flawed or in error. Thank God, that He is just in every way! That He is filled with grace and mercy, and that He considers the person as he considers the offense.
I thank God that He sought not to expose each of my flaws, and protected my name for Kingdom usage. Joseph could have exposed Mary, much like God could completely expose us. Truth be told, the world knows only 15% of our story, and the rest is on the editing room floor of the sea of forgetfulness. Yes, He chose the Right man, a Righteous man. A Righteous man is not about exposing sin, but exposing the sinner to grace that they might be restored through love and forgiveness.
Joseph knew the penalty associated publicly with the sin, but also new the wages of the act she committed. Without loosing her life, she would pay dearly for her decision. She would be tied to her fathers house, not desired by others and un-marriable because she has been tainted. Often, we might believe that the avoiding of stoning is getting away with the act, but the righteous know, the wages of sin pay off in many ways. Joseph was satisfied with allowing her decisions to impact her life as opposed to longing for the release of hurt through casting the first stone. He chose the right one! Many of us long for the release through releasing the stone that inflicts pain on the one that has harmed us, but not Joseph. What about you?
How are you with people that break covenant with you? Joseph faced one that was joined to him in covenant, and now had to address the dishonoring of the agreement made between the two. How are you with covenant breakers? Are you still filled with mercy? Are you still guided by peace? Are you still filled with forgiveness? Are you still fortified with love? Chances are, most would have had a few harsh words with Mary for breaking the covenant. But not Joseph. Joseph understood that the disgrace is not on the one who has covenant broken, but on the one that breaks the covenant. Because we are focused on self, we always consider the effect on our person hood first, and the feeling associated with the breaking of covenant cause us to feel disgraced. We must understand that the offense to us is minimal than that of the one who breaks the covenant. Their breaking of covenant does not change who we are, but demonstrates the character and integrity of the one breaking the agreement. Thus, Joseph was willing to walk away, name and integrity in tact, not desiring to build or protect his name at the destroying of one of God’s children. What about you?
Are you the Righteous Man?