Genesis 41:29 – Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt:
Genesis 41:30 – And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land;
Genesis 41:31 – And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous.
Hello readers, new blog today. Today, I am looking at something taken from the story of Joseph in Genesis. Joseph had been in prison, imprisoned because Potiphar’s wife didn’t get her way with him. He was in prison for something he didn’t do. It didn’t make him bitter, but rather God used this to strengthen his faith and testimony. His life impacted others in the prison, and his life counted for a lot because he stood on truth with his life’s actions. Pharaoh was the Egyptian king, and one night he dreamed a dream that disturbed him, and he wanted to know what it meant. Nobody could tell him what the dream meant (and this is so true, people in the world and of the world do not know the truth and are unable to provide true answers and meaning in this life). Only a saved person who is holding to the truth of God’s word has something sure to offer to someone, a true interpretation to give. So noone could tell the meaning of the dream, and Pharaoh was upset, but then one of Joseph’s old cellmates told Pharaoh he knew a man (Joseph) who could interpret the dream for him. Never underestimate being faithful in little, because Joseph had been faithful in little, and now that would count, as Joseph’s old cell mate in prison knew that God was with Joseph. It’s also funny, not really, but nonetheless, Joseph’s old cellmate forgot about him, it was only in a time of crisis that Joseph was remembered and then called for. When times are good, who needs God? Who needs a faithful man of God? But just like with Jephthah in Judges, when trouble comes, the first person people going running to is someone they actually know God is with. People know the power that is upon you if you are saved and walking in truth, even if they do not like you, they recognize it, just like Herod did with John the Baptist and King Ahab with Elijah.
The blog is quite apt today, given that here in Adelaide it is very hot, we have had not much rain for a long time, everything is dry and ready to die. It’s hard to remember times of good in times of bad. Things can go bad quickly. You can be going so well, and it can all go south before you know it. You can read what Pharaoh dreamed in Genesis 41, but he was standing by a river and saw fine looking, healthy, prosperous cows rise out the river and it was looking so good, but then bad looking, lean, unhealthy looking cows came out and they ate up the good looking cows. Pharaoh dreamed again, and he then had another dream very similar, but with corn. The dream started out so well, but ended horribly, so horribly that Pharaoh awoke. We need to awake like Pharaoh did, awake out of our sleep to the truth. And just like Pharaoh was only satisfied by the interpretation that Joseph was able to give him, we should only find rest in the truth, we need to arrive at the truth of God’s word, and that is what should satisfy us. Pharaoh wanted to know the dreams meaning, and the dream meaning is just as relevant today as it was for Pharaoh. It is a call to repentance and faith, it is a call to get right with God, it is a call to prepare oneself for the future, just as Noah prepared himself and his family for the flood. Joseph was able to tell him that the dream represented that good years were coming, to be followed by years of bad. And that is true of the world today. For many of us, we are doing quite well, but time is ticking. Jesus said as it was in the days of Noah, so it would be when he returns. They ate, they drank, they married, they lived it up, there were going about their lives… until the flood came and destroyed them all.
But it’s not just a bad that is coming that we are talking about today. It’s a bad coming, that is so bad, that the past good is completely forgotten. A bad that makes the good disappear. Jesus said night is coming when no man can work. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 12:1… Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them… it is important to remember your Creator, because one day the good times that you had, well they will be of no use, no pleasure, no comfort to you. It’s not just a bad coming, but a bad coming that is so bad that the good will be forgotten, it will be swallowed up by the bad. The Bible says in 1 John, the world passeth away and the lust thereof. For many of us, we have made our bed in lust, and it pleases our flesh, but that lust will pass away. All that will be left with at the end is who we are and what we have done with Jesus Christ. For instance in Revelation, he that is filthy let him be filthy still… as you are here, so you will be in eternity. You cannot wash your hands of Jesus Christ, you must and will make a decision that follows you for eternity, and you may have already.
There was a man in the Bible who filled his barns, he was rich, prosperous, had his wealth all arranged and lined up, he had life sorted. But Jesus said thou fool, because even while he was comforting himself in his prosperity and riches, his soul was going to be required of him that same night. A soul that he had neglected. The Bible says how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? The Bible says to refuse not him that speaketh from heaven. The Bible says today … IF ye will hear his voice. That’s a big “if”, it’s not there is no voice from heaven, it’s just we shut our ears, we turn away, just like at Mt Sinai, which is where the Bible says they could not endure that which was spoken, they besought Moses to make it stop. People close their ears to the truth, they have itching ears, they will not endure truth, they will not endure sound doctrine, they will turn away to the left or the right. That man forgot about all the good in his lifetime, it was all of no use to him as death came for him, and his full barns have disappeared on him forever.
So there is a bad coming, a bad so bad that it will swallow up the good. If you are lost, dead in sin, all that is good about your life will be consumed by the coming bad, a bad so grievous that it will cause you to forget… that’s why the Bible for instance says trust not in the deceitfulness of riches. Riches are deceitful, they will deceive you, if your security is in your riches, you are being deceived by them, they are not eternal, they are not true security. You have lined your bed with things that actually have no substance, comforted yourself with things that will betray you, be of no good to you when life gets real. In the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, they were going about their lives, they were in such wickedness, there was even a supposedly godly person there (Lot) going along with it all… but they didn’t know the times, they didn’t know that judgement was coming. Lot didn’t know the times either, he was dragged down by the filth of Sodom. He shouldn’t have been there, he had no business being there, but he’s like your modern Christians now who “love” everyone, and everyone needs grace, and we’re not supposed to rebuke sin. He didn’t stand for anything, and he lost everything. His wishy washy compromising life was forgotten by the bad, the fire and brimstone raining from heaven erased his “good”, because he invested himself in Sodom. Bad investment, Lot’s good disappeared in the bad, because he was invested in the wrong things, his “good” was not true good, it was not a lasting good. Your “good” has to be in the Lord Jesus Christ, grounded in the truth of his word… that will last. Like Pharaoh we are all in need of truth, we need to KNOW things, and when we are told the truth, we need to lay hold on it, and protect it in our lives. Remember, Satan comes for that precious seed of truth.
But it doesn’t end here, because God has forewarned of the coming bad. Likewise, we are exhorted to get right with God and prepare our heart for the Lord. Be ready because you don’t know when he is coming back, you don’t know the future, that when he comes you are not ashamed before him at his coming. There is a lot of coming bad for an unsaved person, you are living on the fumes of God’s grace, but there will come a time when your time is up, you will refuse God’s still small voice the final time. God is the Judge, and he does and will judge his creation, and each person is accountable to God for their life. But God has given mankind every chance to get right with him. The testimony of Jesus Christ is the spirit of prophecy, don’t listen to false prophets anymore, look at the testimony of Jesus Christ, because the future revolves on who he is and what he says, the timeline is him, and the prophecy is sure that hell awaits unbelievers who reject Jesus Christ, just as the prophecy is sure that if you repent and believe on him as your Lord and Saviour, you will never have to experience the coming bad, you will instead be saved, forgiven and given eternal life, which will keep you through whatever the future has for you.
Joseph was able to interpret the dream, because he was a man of God, he was faithful, he knew the truth. Any Christian today should be able to expound the scriptures, to hold forth the word of life to others. You’ve got to know it first for yourself before you can take it to others, but once you are saved you should be salt and light in dark world, a city set on a hill that cannot be hid, you should be sharing the gospel through your words and the epistle of your life. God has provided people, he has provided truth, just as he provided Joseph for the interpretation of the dream and the coming times, he equipped them with how to survive the coming famine. See, God tells you the truth, the future, but also tells you how to deal with it. The message is not just on the danger of hell, but how to not go to hell. That’s why law and grace must be preached together, one cannot be understood without the other. And how you will survive is through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Joseph is as great a picture of our Lord as anyone in the Bible, and he is able to give you the corn and be the salvation, and tell you the truth, and make you survive the woes of this life and eternity. Joseph was good news to Egypt, he was able to prepare Egypt for the coming famine, and not only a blessing to Egypt, but a blessing to the rest of the world. Because his family, including his brothers who hated him and sold him into slavery, would also come to Egypt to get the same corn that everyone else was getting.
Today, it is hard to remember the better times, and on some small scale, this verse and concept can be understood. When times get tough, the good years are quickly forgotten, quickly disappear, quickly swallowed up by the bad. If you wake up in hell one day, your life here on earth, no matter how much fun you had here, will be dried up entirely to you. People live for memories and experiences, but that is a grave error to make. You should make wise investments with your life, as they will count. Bed your “good” in God’s word, not in a selfish sinful life. Prepare for the bad times in the times of good, that is why the Bible says to walk redeem the time, because the days are evil. For believers and unbelievers alike, this is a warning, a warning to prepare our hearts before the Lord, to hear his voice, and to act upon it. Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth, because that will be an action taken in your youth that won’t disappear in the coming days. Salvation never dries up, obeying God never dries up, standing for truth never runs out… but a life spent, just like the prodigal son, in riotous, sinful living… well that will run out on you. Sin is deceitful, as deceitful as the devil, he is a liar and his kingdom is built upon deceit, lies and vanity… it’d be unwise to invest or contribute to his kingdom any further, his kingdom is destroyed, it’s going down as sure as Jericho was even before Israel were crossing the river. You don’t want your walls to collapse, salvation is a wall that will stand the test of time. The gospel is that Jesus Christ died for your sins, and he extends forgiveness and eternal life if you will repent of your sin, and believe on who he is and what he has done for you. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only thing that can save you, and the only way to successfully prepare for the coming days. Remember that the good can easily be swallowed up by the bad.