One of my all time favorite Christian groups is 4Him and one of their best songs ever is a Christmas song titled â€œA Strange Way To Save The World,â€ a song written through the eyes of Joseph, and the first verse and channel go like this:
Iâ€™m sure he must have been surprised
At where this road had taken him
Cause never in a million lives
Would he have dreamed of Bethlehem
And standing at the manger
He saw with his own eyes
The message from the angel come to life
And Joseph said
Iâ€™ll share the chorus with you later, but can you imagine the perplexity of Joseph and Mary as they go Josephâ€™s hometown and there is no room for his pregnant wife and him? Iâ€™m not talking about the inn, Iâ€™m talking about with his kinfolk. The Christmas Story reminds us of the predicament Joseph was in…
â€œAnd it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.â€ (Luke 2:1-7)
I canâ€™t speak for Joseph, but if Iâ€™m going to marry a woman whoâ€™s pregnant with not my baby but â€œGodâ€™s baby,â€ Iâ€™m thinking God could have at least provided for better accommodations for this to happen! But the Prophet Isaiah reminds us:
â€œâ€˜For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,â€™ says the Lord. â€˜For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.â€™â€ (Isaiah 55:8-9)
Do you realize had God designed Christâ€™s birth the way I would have planned, the Christmas story would have turned out quite different. First, the initial witnesses of the Newborn King would have been a midwife and palace servants. Instead…
â€œNow there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, â€˜Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.â€™â€ (Luke 2:8-12)
My way would have left us without that wonderful scene from â€œA Charlie Brown Christmasâ€ where Linus quotes the above passage. More importantly, the first case of the spreading of the gospel would have been quite different. I would have sent out a herald to announce the news. Instead…
â€œSo it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, â€˜Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.â€™ And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.â€ (Luke 2:15-20)
Godâ€™s ways are not my ways and I am so thankful for it. The Apostle Paul and Silas were in some perplexing situations also, while proclaiming the gospel I might add.
â€œHaving received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyoneâ€™s chains were loosed. And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, â€˜Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.â€™ Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out and said, â€˜Sirs, what must I do to be saved?â€™ So they said, â€˜Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.â€™ Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.â€ (Acts 16:24-34)
We know for a fact that the Philippian jailer saw his whole family came to Christ, but how many more people were saved because of the jailerâ€™s testimony? We will find out when we get to heaven, but again had Dave had his way that jailer would have never come to Christ because Dave would have never been in prison.
Itâ€™s hard trying to figure God out and we actually shouldnâ€™t try to. Iâ€™m not saying we cannot ask God questions, we just shouldnâ€™t question His motives. The Apostle Paul reminded the Roman Church:
â€œOh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!â€ (Romans 11:33)
If we are going to question God, let us do so as did Joseph in the 4Him song…
Why me, Iâ€™m just a simple man of trade
Why Him with all the rulers in the world
Why here inside this stable filled with hay
Why her, sheâ€™s just an ordinary girl
Now Iâ€™m not one to second guess
What angels have to say
But this is such a strange way to save the world
A strange way indeed, but glory to God in the Highest He did so His way and not mine.
Let us marvel at the babyâ€™s birth and the testimony of the shepherds.
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Copyright Â© 2012 David Jeffers