Pastor Herman Kneller Editorials
GOD'S SECRETS REVEALED
Joseph in Egypt
Joseph, while in Egypt, was given the job of looking after the nation's food supply. Likely, the first thing he did was ask God for wisdom in making right decisions. Then, took a survey of the country to see what areas were best suited for certain crops. Then, he began to build storage places for the bumper crops.
News was mostly spread by traders and travelers and they saw the building boom first hand. In all the cities there were big storage houses being built. Then the first exceptionally good crop came. The best ever! This made news throughout the whole country. Year by year, as the big crops were stored, news of this Hebrew that was head of the project, surely spread far and wide. Especially the fact that he was not a worshiper of the Egyptian god but worshiped the God of Heaven.
The seven boom years came to an abrupt end, then crop failure, not only in Egypt but in all areas around. One year of crop failure most places could handle. It was the second year when things got serious.
Jacob's 10 sons took money, left home and went to Egypt to buy food. Once in Egypt, the brothers met Joseph. Joseph knew them but they didn't recognize him. When Joseph didn't see Benjamin he wondered what they had done to him. As an excuse to test them, Joseph accused them of being spies. He put Simeon in prison, sent them home with food, and ordered them not to come back without their youngest brother. On their way home they found their money in the grain sacks and they were afraid. They thought, “What was the man up to for he had talked very roughly to them.” On the next trip they took Benjamin, but they had some fears. In Egypt, Joseph was happy to see his brother. He released Simeon and invited all 11 brothers to dinner at his house. They were shocked when all were seated according to their ages. When dinner was served, Benjamin got five times as much as the others. What was going on? Their sacks were all filled and a silver cup was put into Benjamin's sack. The sacks were closed and they were all glad to be on their way home. Out of town, Joseph's steward caught up with them and accused them of theft. They denied the charge but each man's sack was searched from the oldest down to the youngest. They were told whoever had the cup would have to become a slave. When the cup was found, the brothers were all very troubled, and they all returned to Joseph's house. The brothers talked amongst themselves. They knew that all this was because of how they treated Joseph. Now Judah, the one who had suggested to sell Joseph 22 years earlier, took Joseph aside and told Joseph what effect this (keeping Benjamin) would have on their father and offered to stay as a servant instead of Benjamin.
Joseph had accomplished what he had set out to prove. He saw a big change in his brothers and said to them, in good Hebrew, “I am Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. Is my father yet alive and well?” Had Benjamin been told the truth about Joseph? His brothers were concerned as Joseph was in a good position now to pay them back for what they had done to him. But, Joseph said, “Don't be afraid. What you meant for evil, God turned into good.” He forgave them. Joseph kissed each of his brothers and told them that there were still five years of famine. He gave them wagons and provisions and told them to move with their possessions and their families into Egypt and he would look after them. God had told Abraham that his descendants would move into a strange land. (now that prophecy was fulfilled)
What was the purpose of Joseph going to Egypt, and the seven years of plenty and seven years of famine? Was it only to bring Jacob and his family to Egypt? God uses various means to get peoples' attention and teach them his ways. Idol worship was everywhere and God wanted people to see the difference between the creator God and the idol. So, through Joseph, the knowledge of the God of Heaven was brought to Egypt to the very head of this great country. Then, as people came to Egypt to buy food the knowledge of the true God was spread to countries all around. People were given a chance to see the difference and accept and worship the true God. It has always been God's plan, and still is, to have people know His love and care for them.
The strange weather patterns in the world today is God telling us He is in charge and wants people to recognize His authority and worship Him, NOT the things of this world. He is coming one day soon to take His people home to a sinless world and wants every one of us to prepare for life there.
Next week: The Meek & the Stubborn