Read to Read …Again
Daily Reading: Genesis 46-47
And Joseph brought in Jacob his father, and set him before Pharaoh: and Jacob blessed Pharaoh.
If you would permit, would it be acceptable to include two different thoughts today on that which we read together? If not, just read the first and skip the second, or vice versa.
The first thing that may have been noticed is that when Pharaoh and Jacob met, Jacob blessed Pharaoh. In this remember the Bible truth that …without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. (Hebrews 7:7) In riches, authority, lands, and power, Pharaoh was far better than Jacob. But in matters of true consequence, Jacob was ordained of Almighty God to be a prince of God. In Genesis 32:28 God said to Jacob: …Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. Yes, indeed, God can hit a mighty lick with a crooked stick. Jacob is God’s prince, as such he blessed Pharaoh, not once but twice (Genesis 47:7 and 10).
For those who think they are great, one overriding characteristic must be examined to see if they truly are great. Do they bless the lesser? Few bless (show honor and bestow respect) anyone less than them. These are not great, they are tyrannical.
On to the second thought. It is summed up in the words of Satan: …all that a man hath will he give for his life. (Job 2:4) This thought is proven in the lives of the Egyptians. Historically, Biblically, Egypt is a picture of the world and the world system. Temporally speaking, fleshly speaking, the Egyptians gave up all their money (47:14), their flocks (47:16), their land (47:20) and their freedom (47:25) for food. They became servants, sharecroppers, serfs, by owing Pharaoh the fifth part of every harvest. That’s 20%! A double tithe!
Way back in Genesis 41:37, when Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream and gave the king a plan to survive the coming famine, the Bible is clear in saying that his saying pleased not only Pharaoh, but also all Pharaoh’s servants. Those servants had families and friends. It would be a rare thing indeed if those servants would not have told others of this unique story. Who ever heard of such a thing that a prisoner would be brought to Pharaoh, interpreted his dream, laid out a plan, and then was immediately promoted to be the second in power in all of Egypt! This could have been the front-page story for days on end. Certainly, the topic of seven years of plenty and seven years of famine would have spread throughout the land. If they would have believed such a story, every corn grower could have (out of their own bountiful seven years of plenty) held back enough for the coming famine. But evidently, they didn’t. Or at least not enough.
While it is true that Joseph gathered up all the corn in Egypt during the seven years of plenty, the Bible is silent about how. He either conscripted it or purchased it. In keeping with his character, it was probably purchased for the price of corn would be rock bottom as the supply was bountiful. If so, the growers could have kept their own store, that is if they believed that seven years of famine was coming. If they kept any at all, they didn’t keep enough.
Today, as sure as there was a famine of corn, there is coming a famine of hearing the Word of God (Amos 8:11). Store up the Word of God against the day of famine. The famine will not be that there is not a Word of God, or that the Word of God will not be proclaimed. The coming famine, and we may be in it already, is one of hearing the Word of God. For hearing mixed with believing always leads to obeying.
Here we must end for today! Just remember this, the things of the Old Testament are physical wherein the things of the New Testament are spiritual.
William T. Howe Ph.D.