Let's remember from my last article, that the righteous or godly will be preserved by God in time of famine (Job 5:20, "In famine he will redeem thee from death";Ps. 33:19, "...to keep them alive in famine"; 37:19, "In the days of famine they shall be satisfied."); this was a special mark of divine favor and covenant relationship.
We are going to find that God used famine in a significant way to bring about Kingdom purposes and plans. It was in famine that God revealed a Joseph; it was a Goliath that made public a David (famine of divine leadership); and it was through famine that Isaac was propelled from a power to a superpower. In the time of Elijah it was famine that brought a nation to their knees at the alter of repentance having broken the power of Baal. As you can see, famine was not a negative but a positive influence on the people of God, drawing them to destiny and purpose in God. What was a judgment to the world was redemptive for God's covenant people.
Famine is used as a radical means of getting our attention as in Hag. 1 famine is used to bring to light the prophet's message "consider your ways". In the time of Elijah God screamed to a nation through famine that He wanted back into their lives. In Mal. 3 we see Him saying "return to me and I will return to you". Once re-establishing God as our principal focus, He then rebukes the devourer from our lives and blessing returns.
A look at the economy in the time of Joseph and the lessons to be learned today:
- In Gen. 41
Pharaoh's prophetic dreams of the famine reveal the foundations of the famine: Famine was not an expression of climate conditions, but a revelation of something God was doing in the earth.
In essence, famine was birthed in and through the purposes of God for kingdom events to be expressed. In this case, famine became the platform to demonstrate both the inability of natural government as well as the need for God's government through His man Joseph. Famine literally was the tool to establish kingdom government.
- It was the famine that unveiled and awakened the destiny call in Joseph so that he could arise for that which he had been prepared for. The dreams of Joseph as a child of being a king and the revelation that he was in restraints until the time that God's prophetic promise was to come to pass, see Ps. 105:19 (Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him), reveals Joseph had been prepared all of his life for this specific event: To be the deliverer and redeemer of the people of God. Famine literally became the key to unlock his destiny.
- Gen 47:11-12
One of the greatest functions of famine is to reposition people for their future and their expression of destiny. The pressures brought about by the famine were the catalyst God used to reunite Joseph with his family. It was through famine that Jacob who was out of position in Canaan to fulfill his destiny, is properly repositioned through a geographical relocation for the next phase in the birth of a nation, in the incubator of Egypt. Therefore the lesson to be learned by us in today's global economic downturn, is that the economical crisisis thrusting us into a major repositioning throughout the body of Christ and the world. This will ultimately reveal kingdom expressions that are yet to be birthed. Let us not be deceived: We can learn from the past, God is up to something major. We can expect in our days an unveiling of the Joseph ministry to the body of Christ. Rule will be granted to God's people. Provision will be in the hands of His covenant people, who are tied to a Joseph.
- A sign that we need to be repositioned is that our needs are not fully met. The need brought by the famine forced Jacob to make tough decisions that required radical change. Once having met the conditions for God's next phase, provision then flowed abundantly as we see in Gen. 47:12 and Gen. 47:27 ("SoIsrael dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions there and grew and multiplied exceedingly. ").
- A statement about Joseph that is a needed truth for the revelation during this teaching: Joseph is the greatest type of Jesus in the Old Testament.
1. He was the favored son - Joseph was given a coat of many colors, Jesus is the only begotten of the Father.
2. Joseph was sold into slavery for 30 pieces of silver - Jesus was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver.
3. Joseph went ahead to prepare a place for his family - Jesus now prepares for us an eternal abode.
4. Joseph has no recorded sin against him - Jesus was without sin.
5. Joseph purchased all Egypt and the people therein for Pharaoh, a type of God the Father - Jesus bought all Heaven and earth not with corruptible things, but through the precious blood of the Lamb for His Father in heaven.
So in this case Pharaoh is a type of God which brings us to the next major lesson in this story found in Gen. 47:19-22. The famine brought a shift in the economy from being individualistic to being a kingdom economy. All was owned by the King. Once having become the possession of the King, their provision problems were over and their provision became abundant and sure. In Luke 16 we find we are only stewards, not owners and that as long as He is allowed preeminence in our life, He will supply all our needs. As our Shepherd we can hear David saying, "The Lord is my Shepherd and I shall not want".
God is wanting to orchestrate a wealth transfer in our day but will only do it for us when we become stewards, not owners. The wealth is shifted from unrighteous to righteous control.
The economy becoming more focused, became a more productive economy and took Egypt to a Superpower and a great time of expansion. Seeking first God's kingdom will cause all things to be added to us as well.
In Gen 47:15 the statement is found "for the money has failed". Money is failing now and forcing people into tough decisions. As in the day of Egypt it brought loss of land and provisions and resulted in a negative way of slavery and debt. If money is your focus now it will do the same and fear and worry will prevail. Today the global economic downturn will also produce a shifting from a national economy to a more global economy like Europe did in adopting the Euro as their means of money. This of course is paving the way for conditions to develop that will usher in the end time as we find in Revelation.
God's solution for famine is always relationship and provision through Him. This is illustrated by God in Gen. 47:22 where only the priests of the land did not lose their land. As Kings and priests unto God neither will we lose in any famine when we are walking in our Kingdom authority and purpose. Again, we are shown the solution to provision is always the same, relationship with the King and a Kingdom mindset.
It is my conviction due to inherent problems in the world economy that a short term solution will not be found to correct the economical downturn. We are probably facing several years of adjustments before economic conditions will recover. However, as Christians we must recognize something great is taking place spiritually. For the people of God who maintain relationship with the King and trust firmly in the Lord, it will be a time for promotion and realignment for destiny.