Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Ephesians 4:32
Read a previous post from this passage – “In His Time“
“Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years. And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine.” – (Genesis 41:34-36)
Our passage of Scripture today explains that Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had a dream, which he did not understand the significance of. I am not sure that all dreams have significance, but this dream must have been especially troubling to Pharaoh as he called in all of the people he could to help him figure it out. He dreamed about seven cattle that were very healthy and fat, and they were feeding in a meadow. Then there came along seven cattle that were lean and unhealthy, and they ate the healthy cattle. Then Pharaoh dreamed about ears of corn. Once again, the first seven ears were healthy and full, but there came along seven other ears of corn that devoured the first seven. No one in the kingdom could help Pharaoh understand the meaning of the dreams, until they brought Joseph up out of the prison. You see, Joseph had already demonstrated in the past to some of Pharaoh’s servants that he could help in these matters.
Joseph revealed to Pharaoh that both the cattle, and the corn in his dreams represented years. That healthy and full cattle and corn represented seven good years; years when there would be plenty of rain, and the land would produce food in abundance. Unfortunately, the seven good years would be followed by seven years of drought, and famine; years where the land would produce very little, and the people of Egypt and the surrounding areas would eventually go hungry.
Because Joseph had the inside scoop on what was about to happen, Pharaoh had appointed him prime minister over the land, and granted him authority over everyone else, save Pharaoh himself. Joseph began purchasing food from the Egyptians in the good years, when it was abundant and cheap. He stored the food that he bought in the cities, and soon, he had a great mass of food laid up in store, ready for the lean years that were to come. I imagine that there were probably many people that thought Joseph was foolish for purchasing all of that food. I mean, after all, there was plenty of food everywhere, and the land just kept producing more. It may have seemed to most that there would never come a day when the good times would end. But they did. And Joseph was ready.
In this passage, Joseph not only demonstrated that he had a special gift from God in discerning the dreams of men, but he also showed that he had godly wisdom. Wisdom teaches that we should not consume all that God gives us today, because we may need some of it tomorrow. It is wise to prepare for the days of leanness and famine that may be ahead in our future. Just recently in America we saw countless people who had their expensive houses and cars foreclosed on because they had lost their jobs. In the previous years they were making great money. Who would have thought that the economy was going to plunge into recession? Many people went into large amounts of debt, simply because they believed that the good years would never end, but they did; and now they are suffering the consequence of their over-consumption and lack of preparation for the lean years.
We need to learn a very practical lesson from this passage. Things may be good today, but they may not be so good tomorrow. It is very wise to save a little today, so that we are bettered prepared for tomorrow. You do not have to be a miser, but a little saving will go a long way. Also, it is very wise to avoid debt, especially consumer debt. Cut up those credit cards if you have trouble controlling your spending. Learn to live with a little less today, so that you can survive tomorrow.
Joseph was a wise steward, and as a result he prospered while everyone else was suffering. We can do the same thing.
Oh, I almost forgot. The best way to save for the future is to invest in God’s Kingdom. He pays better interest that anything else out there.
Posted in Thoughts from Genesis by Phil Erickson with no comments yet.