Four times, Joseph received instructions from God:
An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and instructed him to go ahead and marry Mary (Matthew 1:20).
Later, an angel spoke to Joseph in a dream, warning him of the threat on Jesus’ life and instructing him to flee to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-14).
A third time, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him it was safe to return from Egypt (Matthew 2:19-20).
Lastly, Joseph received additional instruction in a dream to go to Galilee and not Judea (Matthew 2:22).
Each of the times God spoke to Joseph, he obeyed without question or delay:
- He married Mary, as instructed,
- he got up and left for Egypt in the middle of the night,
- he later returned to Israel, and
- he settled in Galilee.
God can speak to us in various ways: by a dream, vision, or even angels, through the Bible or others, or the Holy Spirit. However we may hear from God, there is but one acceptable response: to obey without question or delay, just as Joseph did.
A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.