...back there in the Land o' Goshen. The famine was just getting started.
Day after day the sun beat down.
The ground dried up and cracked and turned to dust. All
around people were getting hungrier and hungrier.
Until there was no food anywhere – except in
And so people came from all over Egypt to buy food
from Joseph. Every day crowds of hungry people pushed and shoved outside
"Help us!" they cried, "We are starving!"
And so Joseph sold them the food he had saved in his
barns and saved their lives.
Still day after day the sun beat down.
And day after day people came to Joseph – until
all their money was spent. Their pockets were as empty as their stomachs (well,
if they had pockets... but pockets weren't invented until many years later! Where did
they put their cell phones??? Good thing they didn't have those either!)
Crowds of hungry people pushed and shoved outside
"Help us!" they cried, "We are starving!
"We have no more money – we gave it all to you!
Our pockets are empty! – well, if we had pockets, but they haven't been invented yet –
but if we had pockets, they would
"Do you want us to fall over dead right here on your
So Joseph said, "Bring me your cows and your goats,
your gerbils and sheep, and I will give you food." (Okay, he probably didn't
really say anything about gerbils!)
And so the people went back to their homes and rounded
up all the animals they had – their horses and cows, their sheep and
their goats, their donkeys and bunnies (well, maybe not too many bunnies!)
And once again, Joseph saved their lives and gave them
the food they needed.
But still the sun beat down on the dry, cracked, dusty
Day after day no rains came.
Until another year had gone by.
Once again, crowds of hungry people pushed and shoved
outside Joseph's door.
"Help us!" they cried, "We are starving!
"You have all our money! You have all our animals! We
have nothing left to give you to buy your food but our land and our bodies!
Please! Take our land, make us your slaves – just give us food, and seed
to plant when the rains come again!
"Or do you want us to fall over dead right here on
your palace steps?"
So Joseph traded his food for all the land in Egypt,
every bit of it – the famine was that bad. And every living person became
Pharaoh's slave, because every living person was alive because of Joseph.
And Joseph said, "Now go and plant the seed I am giving
you! And when the rains finally come, and your crops finally begin to grow
again, and the harvest finally comes, for every five baskets you fill, one will
belong to Pharaoh. The other four baskets you may keep for yourselves, to feed
your children, and for seed to plant. But the fifth basket belongs to me."
"No problem!" the thankful people said (well, maybe
that's not exactly what they said.)
But they were so thankful to have food to put in their
empty stomachs, they were happy to do whatever Joseph asked.
After all, they owed their lives to Joseph!
It's a funny thing.
God makes the sun that shines. God makes the rains that
fall to grow the food we need - and not just boring food like grass
and bark, but wonderful food, like bananas and oranges, and mangoes and coconut
and chocolate, cupcakes and pizza! Not that God makes cupcakes or pizzas grow out of the
ground, I have never seen a pizza farm, have you? But God gives us all the
stuff we need to make a pizza! He even gives us all the stuff we need to make
the car the kid drives to bring the pizza to your door!
What a wonderful, amazing God we have!
But here is the funny thing...
We owe our lives to God just like those people owed
their lives to Joseph!
Even more – because God gives us everything we need – more than we need! – and not just the food we eat,
but the sun that shines and the air we breathe, and the ground we walk on
– even the bodies we walk around in!
God gives us everything!!!!
Those Egyptians didn't grumble and complain when
Joseph asked them to give him one basket of food for every five baskets they
filled. They knew that without Joseph they wouldn't be alive.
But do we grumble and complain when God asks us to do
some little thing... like spend an hour with Him at church on Sunday, or put some
money in the collection plate to help him do his work?
Maybe it would be good to remember the story of
Joseph, and remember to be thankful for all that God gives us!