Abide Together: Reflections on Genesis 47
In the passage today, Jacob’s family settles in Egypt and then we are told of the situation with the famine. God has used Pharaoh’s dream and Joseph to save the people. However, things don’t appear to be getting any better. The famine was so severe that the people had run out of money to purchase the food which had been had stored away. So Joseph allowed them to bring livestock instead of money. The next year (and probably final year of the drought) they had nothing to pay, but Joseph then allowed them to pay by giving up their land and becoming slaves in exchange for seed.
Personally, I can’t imagine what this would feel like. As a dad, I feel responsible for taking care of my family and providing for them. This would be a tough spot. I would probably feel like a failure as depression attempts to creep in. However, I’m struck to the core when I see Israel’s response! They are happy to serve Pharaoh and are grateful for Joseph’s offer saying “You have saved our lives.” As a family, we had a bit of a metaphorical “drought” a few years ago. I went without a job for almost a year and God was incredibly faithful to carry us through. Some days, I did well with gratitude and was able to recognize my blessings in the midst of the struggle, but other days…..well, they’re not really worth discussing. My prayer is that we can all read these passages and take courage and be confident in God’s provision. Even if we become slaves, He is faithful and worthy of all our praise. We have much for which to be grateful!
Prayer: Lord, thank you. Thank you for life and breath and all You have given us. Mostly, for Your son Jesus Christ. Help us to stop comparing ourselves to those who are better off than us and be grateful for what we have been given. Let us live in such a way that we end up blessing others and in so doing recognize how blessed we truly are. Thank you for allowing us the privilege to serve You – to be Your slave. We cry out to You as Israel did to Joseph, “You have saved our lives!” AMEN.
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