Wood Carver in a Workshop
When Joseph returned to Nazareth, to the calm, untroubled seclusion of that happy valley, he knew that the life of the Virgin and of the Holy Child would be spent with him in honest poverty and in manual toil. One writer says: "We may safely infer that these years in the home and trade of the carpenter were happy years in our Savior's life. Jesus chose voluntarily 'the low estate of the poor.'" Throughout the whole of his life our Lord was poor. If tradition be true, Joseph held a very humble position as carpenter, was "not very skillful and received, probably, a very moderate competence, and with him Christ labored, working with his own hands." Farrar in his life of Christ says: "It has tended to console and sanctify the estate of poverty; to ennoble the duty of labor; to elevate the entire conception of manhood, as of a condition which in itself alone and apart from every adventitious circumstance, has its own grandeur and dignity in the sight of God." (Source: Earthly Footsteps of the Man of Galilee, p. 108.)
"Those who fashion a graven image are all of them futile, and their precious things are of no profit; even their own witnesses fail to see or know, so that they will be put to shame . . . . Another shapes wood, he extends a measuring line; he outlines it with red chalk. He works it with planes and outlines it with a compass, and makes it like the form of a man, like the beauty of man, so that it may sit in a house. Surely he cuts cedars for himself, and takes a cypress or an oak and raises it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a fir, and the rain makes it grow. Then it becomes something for a man to burn, so he takes one of them and warms himself; he also makes a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god and worships it; he makes it a graven image and falls down before it." (Source: Isaiah 44:9, 13-15; ESV).
Carpenter Making Plows and Farm Implements
"Half of it he burns in the fire; over this half he eats meat as he roasts a roast and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, "Aha! I am warm, I have seen the fire." But the rest of it he makes into a god, his graven image. He falls down before it and worships; he also prays to it and says, "Deliver me, for you are my god." They do not know, nor do they understand, for He has smeared over their eyes so that they cannot see and their hearts so that they cannot comprehend. No one recalls, nor is there knowledge or understanding to say, "I have burned half of it in the fire and also have baked bread over its coals. I roast meat and eat it. Then I make the rest of it into an abomination, I fall down before a block of wood!" He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside. And he cannot deliver himself, nor say, 'Is there not a lie in my right hand?'" (Source: Isaiah 44:16-20; ESV).
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