I was listening to the Word of God today and the Lord impressed a truth upon my heart. Joseph and Mary were engaged to be married. One day Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant, but they had never had carnal knowledge (intimacy) yet. The Bible says that Joseph “being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.” There is a very important truth to be learned here for all of us, which is, not to publicly broadcast the sins of others!
Neither Joseph nor Mary knew yet that God was working the miracle of Jesus' virgin birth through Mary's body. So in Joseph's mind, it was only logical and reasonable to conclude that Mary was 100% guilty of committing sexual immorality. Joseph could have publicly shamed Mary, and no one would have blamed him for it! America's newspapers are filled with manure, publicly attacking people who do wrong. The Word of God says that Joseph was “a just man.” Joseph was a righteous man! A righteous man is not willing to make a public example of those who sin. Proverbs 10:12, “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.”
Joseph was quite a fella. How would you respond if you found out that your fiancée was pregnant with some other guy's bastard child? I think Joseph deserves a lot of credit. The Bible says he was “a just man.” Joseph did the right thing. Proverbs 12:5, “The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.” The Bible says that a righteous person even cares about animals. Proverbs 12:10, “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” How much more ought we care about people? Joseph didn't want to publicly shame Mary, dragging her family's name through the mud. The great lesson that we should take away from this passage of Scripture, is that the proper way to respond when people in our life sin, and betray our trust, and let us down, and hurt us, is to deal with the matter without creating a public spectacle to destroy that person.
We all know of people close to us, whether a neighbour, family member, co-worker, church member, spouse or friend, who has gone into sin. I am not saying that we ought not report crimes to police. I am talking about the person them self. We are living in a wicked generation that loves to criticize, point fingers, blame and destroy others who do wrong. The Holy Bible calls Satan “the accuser of our brethren” in Revelation 12:10b). The Scriptures do not call Satan “the FALSE accuser of our brethren.” If Joseph had publicly accused Mary of becoming pregnant outside of wedlock, and that he was not the father, he would have been telling the 100% honest truth! But Joseph, “being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.” Joseph didn't want to draw any attention to the horrible sin Mary had done. That is my sermon.