Help in Times of Famine: Genesis 42:1-2

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Read Genesis 42:1-2

Last post on Genesis we saw what happened to Joseph after Pharaoh heard him interpret his dreams. We also examined how Joseph determined direction for the nation of Egypt and how you can determine direction yourself. (see previous post: God, Joseph, and Direction)

In today’s post we’ll look at where Jacob sends his sons for grain during a famine. And we’ll look at where we can go when we’re experiencing famine, be it financial, physical, or emotional famine.

Genesis 42:1-2

After Jacob figures out there’s grain in Egypt, he says to his sons, Why just sit around and look at each other? Go where the bread is, go to the source of nourishment. Go to where you, and me, and our families can be saved — from this famine. Go to where the bread is, so that we may live and not die.

Help in Times of Famine:

Jacob’s sons” reluctance to go to Egypt for grain reminds me of another story:

“Do you want to get well?” Jesus asked the lame man at the pool of Bethesda.

I want to get down to the pool, because I think it’ll heal me, but I have no one to help me. Someone always gets there ahead of me, the lame man said.

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

The only problem was, Jesus did this on the Sabbath. So when the leaders found out, they were angry. That’s when Jesus said to them, concerning the Old Testament: “These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (emphasis mine, see John Chapter 5)

Jacob and his sons don’t know it yet, but it won’t be long before they’ll find out, Joseph is the source they’ll be receiving food from, so that they may live and not die. And we also know Jesus said of the Old Testament: “These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (John 5:39-40) So here we have another example of how the Scriptures testify of Jesus. We again see in Joseph, a divine prophetic expression of Jesus Christ.

Jacob’s sons looking at each other, and their reluctance to go to Joseph to be saved, is a picture of how Jesus’ brothers, the Jewish leadership, were reluctant to go to Jesus. It’s also a picture of what you and I so often do when we respond to famine. When the famine comes, we often look to each other, and other human beings, to be saved. But what God, our heavenly Father, would have us do, is go to Jesus for our bread. Christ is the source of our grain, if you will. He is the Word made flesh. He is the Bread of life. (John 1:14)

Jesus is our Joseph.

And Jesus is the Word. So God’s word is where God would have us go “so that we may live and not die.”

Maybe things are so bad right now, you feel like you’re going to die. Maybe you’re experiencing famine. Maybe it’s a financial famine: you’re unemployed or just struggling to make it. Or maybe it’s a physical famine: you’re sick, or injured, or the doctor came back with a diagnosis of cancer. Or maybe it’s an emotional famine: you’re dealing with a divorce, or she betrayed you, or they’re attacking you personally.

The question is, where do you go when there’s famine? Do you look at those around you for answers? Or do you go to where the bread is?

The Bible, is where the bread is, and God has good reasons for sending us there.

When I read the Bible I’m gaining insight into the very mind of God. That, in and of itself, makes it the most important book to read there is.

When I read the Bible I’m reading the very same words Jesus studied and read.

When I read the gospels in the Bible, I’m studying the very words spoken by Jesus Christ Himself.

When I read the Bible I’m reminded of great truths.

When I read the Bible I’m more oriented toward what’s important to God and less anxious about the things of this world.

When I read the Bible I’m more mindful of eternal things, heavenly things, things that will matter forever (and that’s a long time).

I know from experience, reading the Bible regularly, changes who I am. When I read the Bible I’m a different person than when I don’t. I know this because my wife says she prefers the kurt who reads the Bible regularly, to the kurt who does not.

It’s true for anybody. Reading the Bible regularly will make you less like your current self, and more like the person both you and God want you to become.

So why just sit around and look at each other? Go where the bread is, go to the source of nourishment. Go to where you and your family can be saved. Go to where the bread is, “so that you may live and not die.”

Read your Bible.

It will change your life.

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT

One Comment on “Help in Times of Famine: Genesis 42:1-2

  1. Pingback: Fear from Sin vs. Fear of God: Genesis 42:3-38 | bennett's blog

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