PHARAOH’S DREAMS, what do they teach?
Pharaoh, king of Egypt, was God’s choice to preserve His people. He dreamed that seven lean cows ate up seven fat cows. And again, he dreamed that seven thin heads of grain swallowed seven healthy heads of grain. All the Egyptian magicians were at a loss. The chief baker remembered, while in prison, that a Hebrew prisoner had accurately interpreted his dream. Joseph was brought in and interpreted for Pharaoh the two dreams. First, there would be seven years of prosperity and then seven years of famine. Pharaoh saw God’s hand on Joseph and placed him in charge (Genesis 41).
Joseph stored the surplus of the harvest for seven years and he saved Egypt and his own Hebrews during the seven years of famine. Joseph has been an example for everyone that is concerned about shortages. Jesus told his disciples not to worry about tomorrow; yet he had wealthy women sustain his ministry (Matthew 28:55). Someone has to store and provide food (Luke 12:42), but not overstock like the rich fool (Luke 12:18-20). It is not prudent to live from hand to mouth. “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise. It has no supervisor or some leader to direct it; yet it stores its provision in summer and gathers its food at harvest” (Proverbs 6:6-8). “Bring the whole tenth of your harvest into the storehouse so that there may be food (when times are tough)” (Malachi 3:10). The principle of storing a tenth of an annual surplus is also valid today.
Joseph’s practical philosophy is an enormous example for us. Like Joseph’s Egypt, our nation too is facing hard and harsh times. Unlike Egypt, we have no Joseph that can help us store a tenth of our harvest. More like Joseph’s brothers we begin to depend on others to feed us. We borrow in order to exist, as individuals and as a nation. We would not be in our creditor’s hands, if we had harvested but a tenth of our natural resources and stored a tenth of the tenth for a crisis such as we are facing now. Our predicament is much more serious. Unlike Pharaoh, our leaders are not looking for a Joseph to rescue a nation and save God’s people. Biblical history is abundantly clear that when a nation departs from God’s principles and then proceeds to oppress those that still follow God’s ethics, then God will choose another nation to preserve His people. Jesus promised to be with his followers to the very end and no one could take them out of his hand and his Father’s hand (Matthew 28:20; John 10:28-29). When Jesus uttered that promise his nation was in Roman hands. Rome died, Jesus’ people moved on.