By Michael Kloss
Joseph did not interpret pharaoh’s dreams through his own cunning; he was blessed by God with wisdom and judged the scenes in pharaoh’s dream prophetically. There is nothing new under the sun and the Wisdom of God is ours for the asking. It is more precious than gold or silver and given to us as kings to judge this world. We must see through new eyes; eyes given to us by Jesus.
Modern famines in the US are often the result of economic bubbles; artificial wealth followed by hard times. Bubbles are made to burst. The foundation of modern economics is borrowing and borrowing. We must see this for what it is. We must not fall into the get rich or keep rich schemes of the world. Prospecting is no wiser if it is done by men in business suites with masters’ Degrees. Joseph’s strategy, based on the wisdom he received from heaven, was to save for the lean years during the fat years. Biblical economics is simple and difficult all at once.
It is hard to put off our desires and needs to attain wealth, wealth that can vanish quickly, as Job discovered. Good stewardship of everything you possess, great or small, is true wealth. Joy in our labor and in our provisions, rather it’s a crust of bread or filet mignon, is a gift of God and the true wealth of this world.
So far I assume there are seven fat years preceding the lean. That is not always the case. Abject poverty and earthly wealth can be a great blessing or a great curse. The difference is faith and honoring Him who gives and Him who takes; God. He alone possesses the keys to Hades and the book of life, everything else is a cat’s meow comparably. Accepting this requires faith.
We are called to not consider tomorrow, for today has its own cares. This does not mean to avoid making plans but to not boast in those plans (James 4:13-17).We are called to respond faithfully when all our careful planning comes to not. Joseph continued in his storing up of grain because it was the wise thing to do. If it would have all been destroyed in its granary than he would have responded the same as Job; the lord giveth and the Lord taketh away; blessed is the name of the Lord.
What we must grasp for faithful living is the wisdom and comfort of our Victorious Lord. There is a time for everything; gathering and scattering. Joseph gathered and was a blessing to many. When his brothers came he scattered blessing among them. Luke 21:1 relates a scene of Jesus’ witness of a widow giving out of her poverty and not her wealth.
The fool gathers more than he needs Tuesday and starves Thursday. The fool sits down to his plenty on Tuesday and does not give thanks. In his poverty on Thursday he curses God. We are given the wisdom and grace for each and every day;
Two things I ask of you;
deny them not to me before I die:
Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
lest I be full and deny you
and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God. (Proverbs 30:7-9, ESV)
“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God,
“when I will send a famine on the land—
not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
but of hearing the words of the Lord. ( Amos 8:11, ESV)
This demonstrates the spiritual famine that accompanies Israel when they forget to remember the poor, the Sabbath and God’s due reverence. As modern Americans, poverty has taken on a different meaning. For us we suffer from a lack of perspective and thankfulness. This is becasue, as a a nation and inviduals, we have turned away from our God. The judgment of moral ineptitude in the halls of power reflects the ineptitude of our worship. Worshiping in Spirit and truth will restore spiritual wealth. That is the true famine of which we suffer.
Seek to glorify the Lord in all you do. Give thanks in everything. Save as much as you can. Do not foolishly borrow what you cannot pay back. Do not worry about tomorrow and give, give, give. Most importantly, a Sabbath attitude is more than the feeling you get in the middle of the worship service. It is seeing creation and its Lord rightly. Pray, sing, read the word, gather together at the appointed time and give thanks and service to the Lord of Heaven and Earth.