Romans 8:23 And now we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. (NIV)
A massive famine, the worst the known world will have ever seen, was approaching. For seven years there would be no rain. The crops would wither, the herds perish, and mothers would wail and grieve as their starving children died.
God’s Chosen people, the Israelites, living in Canaan, would be decimated by this famine. But the all knowing and loving God saw seen this approaching calamity, and prepared the way to save His Chosen People. But His chosen method of provision would be two seemingly random events that will meet unexpectedly, in a foreign country.
A young Semite was sold into slavery by jealous brothers, and ended up in a vile, distasteful Egyptian prison. Eventhough in his youth God gave him visions of one day being a ruler, he slept with rats, lice and other vermin, and shared each day with the utter dregs of Egyptian society. And his crime? His angry master's wife lied in anger, and although innocent, he ended up in prison to await his trial.
This young man could have blamed God, and accused the Lord of abandoning him. But instead, this youth trusted the Lord, and instead, his character grew from being a spoilt brat to that of Godly maturity.
His name was Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob, the father of the future nation of Israel. God would use this youth to save His Chosen people from this impending famine. But how? Surely the proud Egyptian rulers would never stoop to provide for a tribe of lowly, uncivilised Semites?
But God had already prepared the way. Years of civil unrest had caused Lower and Middle Egypt to weaken to such an extent, that successive waves of Semitic peoples from the east, called the Hyksos, simply overran the country. For over one hundred years these foreigners would rule Lower and Middle Egypt. However, although taking over the Egyptian administration and rulership, they would observe Egyptian culture, customs and conventions. Therefore they had their own line of Pharaohs.
So when Joseph was called before Pharaoh to interpret his disturbing dream of seven fat cattle followed by seven thin ones, he did not meet an arrogant, racist Egyptian Pharaoh, but rather, a Hyksos Semite Pharaoh of similar racial stock to himself.
And so once Joseph received from the Lord the interpretation of the dream, it is quite understandable that he was given the office of second in charge after Pharaoh. Joseph and the Pharaoh were both Semites.
Through Joseph’s newly granted status, God provided for His people. He brought Jacob and his sons to Egypt, where they could live in complete health and security. He also gave Joseph the wisdom and authority to efficiently stockpile so much food in the next seven years, that the whole of the Middle East would come to Egypt during the famine in order to buy food.
Therefore during this time Egypt became incredibly rich.
Finally, three hundred years later, when Moses would lead the Israelites out of Egypt (the Hyksos rulers having been kicked out some time ago by the Southern Egyptians), the Israelites would take the wealth of Egypt out with them. Wealth that God drew into Egypt during these seven years of famine.
When we have troubles in our lives, trust in the Lord. He goes before us and prepares the way. He will use these troubles for good, eventhough the good may come in the most unexpected manner.
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