Sunday, March 20, 2011

Genesis 41:53-57 Joseph's Plan Blesses Egypt and the Nations

"The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said.  There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food.  When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food.  Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, 'Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.' " (Genesis 41:53-55 NIV)

Joseph had predicted seven years of famine which would follow the seven years of abundance, and this time, too, his words proved to be true.  At first the famine did not seem to affect Egypt (v.54), but eventually even the land of Egypt began to feel the effects of famine.  When the Egyptians cried to Pharaoh for food, he directed them to Joseph and told them to obey whatever he told them to do.

"When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt.  And all the countries came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the world." (Genesis 41:56-57 NIV)

It must have seemed strange to the Egyptians to experience such a famine, for they had always depended upon the Nile for a reliable source of water, and its yearly deposits of soil usually helped ensure a good harvest.  Now the people had to buy grain from Joseph. 

People from the surrounding nations also came to buy grain.  Joseph the Israelite is the conduit for blessings upon many nations, just as God had originally told Abraham his descendants would be.  (Genesis 12:3)

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