The City Of David In Modern Times - Jerusalem!
Hey whats going on today?
I know I know, I know I promised you! I have NOT been hiding from you. I was actually doing carpentry work all last week with a childhood friend of mine.
Yes, I did get your messages.
Its not that! Its just I am not quite sure what to do yet.
I don't know if I am allowed to tell
anyone and I am really afraid right now.
I mean what my friend told me while we
were working together is really REALLY big.
In all honesty I am scared to death
right now and I am not even sure that I understand
what he told me, or what the implications truly are. My mom and dad would probably understand better than me, but from what he told me, it sounds like incredible news.
No, you do not know him. His name is
Joseph, you probably remember me mentioning his name to you a few
Joseph and I grew up together in the
same village. His parents were friends with my parents and we use to
play together sometimes when we were young kids.
Well we have been keeping in touch through the years and he heard that I was looking for some part time work. So he sent a message to my mom for me to get in contact with him right away.
Oh Its been a huge blessing. He hired me part time for the last few months and it has really helped my family financially speaking.
It has been a great blessing actually
because while were working together, we had a chance to catch up on
old times. I shared with him everything I have been going through
since our two families moved away from each other. And likewise he
also shared with me some of the incredible experiences that GOD had
him go through while growing up.
I know I know but I am afraid to tell you anymore. This could possibly be the most important thing that has happened in Israel since Pharaoh allowed the children of Jacob to leave Israel.
I am drop dead serious, I am not joking here – This could even be bigger than the Jews crossing the Red sea........
Even bigger than the walls of Jericho falling down for Joshua and the Jewish people....
Yes, now your starting to understand how big of a deal this secret is that Joseph told me last week.
I swear to you, this secret could even be bigger than Solomon building the temple, MAYBE even BIGGER than the temple itself!!!!!!
And you know what? I am absolutely terrified to share this with anyone.
I have been praying all week long to
GOD – Crying out to him over and over again if it is OK to share
this secret that I heard with anyone else.
I want to tell you I really do Ruben, but can I trust you?
Look I don't mean to offend you but I am very serious!
Can I really trust you?
I mean really REALLY trust you?
Will you swear to me that you will keep this a secret until sometime a little later from now?
OK follow me to the marketplace – Let's find a nice private place to sit down at the market place, ill buy us some hot fresh baked bread and some of our favorite tea to drink.
You are not gonna believe what I am about to tell you.
Six months ago when I started working with Joseph, we use to pass the time working all day by talking and sharing stories with each other.
One day he came into work and had a huge smile on his face. I asked him over and over again →
why are you so happy today?
At first he did not want to tell me, but I kept asking him what is going on?
Tell me tell me – What is that smile all about Joseph?
Why are you so happy?
Well finally, Joseph went on to tell me that he had met a brand new young lady. And even though he just met her last month, he said he was very VERY happy with her.
Yes, YES she is even a virgin!
I know it is so hard to believe that there are still virgins in Israel in this day and age with all of the sexual sinning going on.
But Joseph went on to tell me – No
brother, she is really a virgin, and we get along so great together!
OK Ruben, take a sip of tea and brace yourself, because this is where it gets very very good.
Three months ago while at work, Joseph reached into his pocked and pulled out a wedding ring.
I said to him wow! What is that?
Joseph told me that he loved his new girlfriend Mary very much, and that after work he was going to go to her parents house and ask for permission to marry her.
He said - This is what the wedding
ring is for with a huge smile on his face!
Mary's parents gave Joseph permission to marry their daughter - Praise GOD!!!
The marriage engagement was on!!!!
I saw both of them together one time. One day when we were at work, Mary came by and brought Joseph a wonderful lunch to eat. That was the first time I saw them together.
They were both so happy, It seemed like they were meant for each other, that they were born to be with each other! It was really wonderful......... Just seeing them together has so rejuvenated me, I am now praying to the LORD to bring me a wonderful wife too!
All Joseph could talk about at work was either Mary, or the wedding that was coming up shortly now. Everyday that I saw him at work, he was so happy, he always had the biggest smile on his face!!!
Oh what a blessing that was to see those two together.
Then it happened!
About one month ago, I showed up to work on time to finish the project that Joseph and myself had started the week before.
Joseph never showed that day. All day long while working in the hot sun, I kept looking for Joseph to show up at any moment, but he never did!
The same thing happened the next day.
And the next and the next until it was finally the end of the week.
On Friday which was payday, Joseph came into work very late and he looked terrible..........
That huge smile that he had on his face the months before was now long gone. He looked like a man that had just buried not only his mom, but both his mom and dad at the cemetery!!
Praise GOD he paid me the money I had earned working all week long, I really appreciated that,
But then, he quickly closed up the shop and started to head back home without even saying a word to me.
I grabbed a small jug of water and ran after him calling his name. Joseph, Joseph wait up for me.
I called his name over and over again but he never responded, he never even bothered to look back at me.
My heart was really beating now, I just knew, I just KNEW deep in my soul that something terrible had happened.
We were now on the outskirts of the city when I finally caught up with him because he was walking so fast.
I gently put my hand on his shoulder and said – Brother, brother whats wrong? What happened?
As he slowly turned around, I could tell by looking at his eyes that he had not slept for a few days now.
Whatever happened I knew it was very bad because he would not even make eye contact with me. I kept my hand gently on his shoulder but he kept staring down at the hot sand underneath our sandals.
I whispered to him over and over again – What happened? What happened brother?
That is when I saw tears coming out of his eyes and he started to cry!
At first he could not speak. Then I gently led him to a nearby sand dune where we were able to sit down for a little while.
I passed him my water jug so he could drink a little bit of water.
I whispered to him again – Please Joseph tell me what happened, please!!
Joseph had his head down staring into the sand as he started to talk.
I could barely hear him whisper – That the wedding was now called off.
I asked him why? Why, what happened?
But he would not answer.
I put my arm around his shoulder and I held him for a few moments.
I asked him again, what happened?
Joseph lifted his head up and looked at
me and said –
I said Joseph, GOD can forgive you, you can give the proper sacrifices that are needed at the temple for a sin like this.
You do not have to call off the wedding brother, sometimes we men make mistakes...................
Joseph said – No brother you do not understand – I never touched her – I swear to you I have never touched her and I would never ever do that to her. You have to believe me, I swear to you and GOD that I never touched her.
Yet she is pregnant.
Joseph said - How could she do this to me?
How could she sleep with another man so close to our own wedding date?
What kind of woman would do that? She has hurt not only me, but my entire family with this kind of shame.
She has slept with another man before our own marriage date and now she could actually be stoned to death by the pharisees and religious leaders.........
When the teachers of religious law find out what she did, they will most certainly stone her to death.
Now Ruben listen - My friend Joseph is a good man so he decided to break off the engagement very quietly in secret so the religious leaders would not find out and kill her.
I took a break right here from sharing
this incredible secret with my friend across the table.
I looked at Ruben who was sitting right next to me and whispered to him ----->
Let's go get some more hot bread and tea, because you are not gonna believe what I am about to tell you next!
Now listen carefully my friend, because this is where the story really starts to get interesting!
Two weeks ago while at work, Joseph ran up to me and his face was glowing with joy. Joseph said to me – brother, brother you are NOT going to believe what happened last night.
I quickly put down my tools and we both sad down in the shade underneath a tree.
He said to me the most amazing thing has happened last night. Joseph asked me if I believed in angels.
I said yes, I did read about them in the holy scriptures.
With a huge smile on his face, Joseph asked me if I had ever seen one.
I told him no, as far as I know I have never seen one.
Joseph said guess what?
I said – Ummmmmmm what?
He said last night an angel of the LORD appeared to me in a dream.
When I said this, Ruben sitting across the table just about dropped his cup of tea he was holding.
Joseph said to me – When he went to bed last night, he was thinking of how he could safely call off his engagement to Mary without anyone finding out, or without the religious leaders finding out what happened.
Then Joseph said he fell asleep and what I am about to tell you, is exactly word for word what he told me ---->
(An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”)
When Ruben heard this, we both sat quietly at the table, not daring to say a word to each other.
Ruben sat in his chair silently for what seemed like forever – Then he said - Are you saying that Mary being a virgin, is now pregnant because GOD has created a baby in her?
I said yes.
Ruben then said – Are you saying to me right here, right now, that the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 is about to be fulfilled in our lifetime, even in our own village?
I said yes.
Ruben said – So your saying that this young girl Mary, is the woman spoken of in Isaiah 7:14 – Where GOD says → A virgin will conceive a child and give birth to a son, and he will be called Emmanuel – GOD is with us?
I said yes – Yes – YES
I said the angel even told Joseph to
give the baby the name of
The name JESUS means GOD saves or GOD is salvation.
My friend said to me – Do you realize what this means?
I said no, I do not know the scriptures that well, but Isaiah did say – That GOD would be born in this baby and live with us here on earth.
The angel told Joseph that this baby would save GOD'S people from their sins!!
Upon hearing that - Ruben put down his tea & by the look in his eyes I knew he was now a million miles away in thought. He said, this is huge, this is the biggest news that has ever happened to the nation of Israel in our entire existence.
Just think about it, GOD is going to live with us here on earth being born in a baby, IN OUR LIFE TIME, IN ABOUT 5 MONTHS TIME.
The Messiah, the chosen one of GOD is about to enter our nation in a few months?
Ruben said - I am the happiest man in the world right now, I am so thankful you trusted me enough to tell me this incredible news. Thank you – Thank you – Thank you for telling me.
Ruben said – But let me ask you a question. There is a scripture that my dad told me a long time ago. My dad said that the Messiah, the savior for us all would be born in Bethlehem.
But Joseph and Mary live right here in our town right?
I said that is true and your not gonna believe what I am about to tell you.
My friend Joseph was born in Bethlehem and guess what? The Roman emperor Augustus is calling for a world wide census to be taken in a little while from now. Because of this, all of the citizens of Israel have to return to their ancestral hometowns to register...........
After the marriage which is only 3 months away now - Joseph is taking his wife Mary to Bethlehem so they can both be registered.
The baby will be born in Bethlehem!!!
When my friend sitting across the table heard that, his face exploded in wonder, joy and amazement!!!!!!!!!!!!
I said to Ruben – There is even more!!!!
You remember when I told you that I was working in the temple all last weekend volunteering some time to GOD?
OK GOOD................. Listen to this.......... There is a rumor that spread through-ought the temple like wildfire. I actually heard it myself from some of the pharisees..........
Some of the elders have said that there are three very powerful, very wealthy wise men that left their kingdoms in the far east last month. They are said to be tracking a brand new star in the heavens. The wise men have said that this brand new star is a sign that a powerful king of the Jews is about to be born.....
Guess where the wise men are heading to?
They are on a path headed straight to Bethlehem!!!!
Ruben can you believe it?
For the second time, my friends face exploded with joy, laughter and smiles!!!!!!!!!
He raised his hands up in the air and shouted Halleluiah!!!
I quieted down my friend before any strangers noticed us in the marketplace.
Ruben said - What should we do now?
I thought about it for a moment, then a great idea came to me.
I said lets go to my house right away, my mom and dad know the scriptures very well. They can tell us everything that is going to happen next.
Hurry, follow me, lets go talk to dad!!!!
Love, your brother Garrett
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