IT COULD NOT BE KNOWN
Genesis 41:21 And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke. 30 And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land; 31 And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous.
Genesis 41:56 And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. 57 And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.
This famine was not just a local issue, occurring in just one country! Take note in verse fifty six, listed above, that it was over all the face of the earth just like the flood in Noah’s day! In each case the Lord God chose one man to save the entire world. He chose Noah to save the world from the pollution of sinful flesh, washing the world by water. In this he pictures the Lord Jesus who saves the world of sinners by the washing of water by the word. Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Now he chooses Joseph to save the world’s population from the devastation of hunger in this world-wide famine. In this we see the person of the Lord Jesus as the Bread of life! Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
In Noah’s flood it is said that they knew not until the flood came, and took they all away. (Matt 24:39). But in Joseph’s famine they are all enlightened so that they knew what was coming and were prepared to survive through it.
In Noah’s world-wide flood we have a pattern of that which shall occur again at the coming of the Lord Jesus. Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. But in Joseph’s world-wide famine we have the pattern of the famine of the hearing of the word of God that shall especially occur in these last days. Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.
For the Lord God had told Abram that he would relocate his people into a land that is not theirs, which we now know to be Egypt. (Gen. 15:13,14). And he did so in order to form them into a nation. For the placement of the Lord’s people, including both their location and the time they are there is entirely in the hands of our sovereign Lord! Acts 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
Now let us consider an issue that both Pharaoh and Joseph refer to in the matter of the severity of the famine. This is the issue of our title as listed in those first three verses at the beginning of this article. Joseph clearly states in verse thirty one that the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous. The former world with it’s time of social pleasures, just as in Noah’s day, and the abundant supply of food shall not be able to be brought to mind when the famine comes. Matthew 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
Famine can change the very spirit in mankind! It can be of such a devastating effect that acts never dreamed of, but considered to be abhorrent to the mind can then be considered as normal! – Even the eating of one’s own flesh, and that of their sons and daughters! Leviticus 26:26 And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied. 29 And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.
Isaiah 9:20 And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm:
2 Kings 6:25 And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass’s head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove’s dung for five pieces of silver. 29 So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son.
America is in such a famine today. Certainly not of physical bread, but of the spiritual bread of the word of God. And the church has turned inward to consume upon herself whatever new ideas, and new entertainment that enthuses her. The one thing that can no longer be found is the spiritual preaching of the truth as it in in Jesus Christ. One can easily find recreation for the youth; motivational speeches to make all feel good about ones self and that imaginary God, who will lay aside his holiness and glory so mankind can go on to hell in a happy state.
You can also find the religious banker bunch who deal in supposedly, getting you rich. They preach, “Give us your money and God will give you back a winning lottery ticket.” This is carried out blatantly in the very face of the scriptures of God’s word which stand in total opposition to this practice. 1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. And this bunch is going to have to apologize for their condemnation of Judas, as they are also selling out the Son of God due to their love of money.
James 5:1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. 3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. 4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. 5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. 6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
But you can hardly fine a pulpit that preaches chapter and verse of the Lord’s word, interpreted by the Holy Spirit.
And the reason this has come to pass is because America ceased to love the truth! 2 Thessalonians 2:10 … because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
What is the need in such an hour of approaching famine? It is the need of a spiritual man, not only to warn of its oncoming, but to instruct as how to prepare for, and exist within such horrible conditions. Genesis 41:33 Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt.
For those who are relying upon these ‘feel good’ religious people and practices shall most certainly be consumed. It will only be those trusting in the Spiritual Man, Christ Jesus, who shall endure to the end. Jeremiah 17:5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. 6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. 7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. 8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
And as Joseph, this spiritual man comes to rule throughout the famine from persecution and affliction. Genesis 41:14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh. So the Lord Jesus went by way of his cross into his glory to rule over all things. Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; For as just stated in Jeremiah 17:7,8, to trust and hope in the Lord causes one not to see when heat cometh, and not be careful in the year of drought.
Clear sighted, spiritual vision never comes without affliction! 2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
It is faith which evidences things unseen. Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Verse three of this passage states, Through faith we understand! But a true faith is always a tried faith. 1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
And as the entire household of Jacob became refugees of the famine, being relocated into Egypt, so trials and famine relocate the believers into a realm, far from the inexperience of nurturing religious supposition, into the reality of the realm of the wisdom necessary in living among the worldly. Colossians 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
This pattern of relocation by famine and being forced to face even the demonic is seen even in our Lord’s temptation. First he is relocated: Luke 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
Then he endures a famine, and has to face the devil: Luke 4:2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
And the issue faced concerned the difference in spiritual and the physical bread. Luke 4:3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. 4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
John 4:32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. He was feeding from the spiritual food of his Father’s admiration of his obedience. How do you suppose that all the believers now in eternity are abiding in life? They have no grocery stores. Even if they did their bodies were left in the earth, along with their teeth to chew and stomach to digest. They are living off the Spiritual Bread of Jesus Christ! Colossians 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
And remember, dear Reader, that even though Jacob had been blessed to have communication with the Lord God, he was not exempt from going through the famine, just like all others. 1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. For just as his rain and his sun fall upon the just and the unjust, so do his trials! It’s just that the believers have faith in spiritually beneficial results. Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
And as Jacob and his family were not exempt from the famine, so they were not delivered from it except by the same means as was others. We must be careful to submit to God’s prescribed order during our famine.
Pastor Gene Breed
August 19, 2016