Posts Tagged ‘Famine’


Genesis 43:1,2,8,9,23,24,33,34 Now the famine was severe in the land. So it came about when they had finished eating the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, “Go back, buy us a little food”… Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the lad with me and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, we as well as you and our little ones. “I myself will be surety for him; you may hold me responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame before you forever… He said, “Be at ease, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; I had your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. Then the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their donkeys fodder… Now they were seated before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth, and the men looked at one another in astonishment. He took portions to them from his own table, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. So they feasted and drank freely with him.

Desperate times call for desperate measures and that is what has occurred in the house of Israel. The famine continued and the desperation of Israel’s (Jacob) stomach made him reconsider his decision of not sending Benjamin with his brothers to Joseph.

A payment was prepared of twice the amount they would need plus the amount that was returned the earlier time plus a special gift for Joseph for his kindness to them in releasing their brother Simeon.

Feels like the end of their struggles is at hand and is that the Lord’s word to us today? (more…)


Genesis 42:7,21-22,35 When Joseph saw his brothers he recognized them, but he disguised himself to them and spoke to them harshly. And he said to them, “Where have you come from?” And they said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food”… Then they said to one another, “Truly we are guilty concerning our brother, because we saw the distress of his soul when he pleaded with us, yet we would not listen; therefore this distress has come upon us.” Reuben answered them, saying, “Did I not tell you, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; and you would not listen? Now comes the reckoning for his blood”… Now it came about as they were emptying their sacks, that behold, every man’s bundle of money was in his sack; and when they and their father saw their bundles of money, they were dismayed. Their father Jacob said to them, “You have bereaved me of my children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and you would take Benjamin; all these things are against me.” Then Reuben spoke to his father, saying, “You may put my two sons to death if I do not bring him back to you; put him in my care, and I will return him to you.” But Jacob said, “My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he alone is left. If harm should befall him on the journey you are taking, then you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow.”

Joseph was now in authority over Egypt and was respected and revered for his gift of divination by God and for the authority bestowed upon him by the Pharaoh.

Because of the widespread famine stretching all the way to Canaan, people from all over the region came to him for grain and this is how he chanced meeting with his 10 brothers.

Joseph’s response is odd in that he choses to imprison his brothers and treat them roughly but there seems to be justice in what he does when he sends them home while holding onto Simeon.

Wy would Joseph want to see Benjamin and what is God teaching us through this incident? (more…)


Genesis 41:12,15,16,28-31,39-41 “Now a Hebrew youth was with us there, a servant of the captain of the bodyguard, and we related them to him, and he interpreted our dreams for us. To each one he interpreted according to his own dream… Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, but no one can interpret it; and I have heard it said about you, that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” Joseph then answered Pharaoh, saying, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer”… “It is as I have spoken to Pharaoh: God has shown to Pharaoh what He is about to do. “Behold, seven years of great abundance are coming in all the land of Egypt; and after them seven years of famine will come, and all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine will ravage the land. “So the abundance will be unknown in the land because of that subsequent famine; for it will be very severe… So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you are. “You shall be over my house, and according to your command all my people shall do homage; only in the throne I will be greater than you.” Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”

Talk about a windfall gain and Joseph comes to mind. From the dark pit of a dungeon to the throne of Egypt, Joseph saw it all happen in a couple of hours!

When such miraculous events are reported, it seems easy for us to scoff at them as just fables and ignore them but one has to remember that this same story is in the Bible, the Torah and the Quran with slight changes.

What is God speaking to us through the life of Joseph and is there such hope for us too? (more…)


Genesis 26:1-4,6-7,12-17 Now there was a famine in the land, besides the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. So Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines. The LORD appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land of which I shall tell you. “Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham… So Isaac lived in Gerar. When the men of the place asked about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he was afraid to say, “my wife,” thinking, “the men of the place might kill me on account of Rebekah, for she is beautiful”… Now Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. And the LORD blessed him, and the man became rich, and continued to grow richer until he became very wealthy; for he had possessions of flocks and herds and a great household, so that the Philistines envied him. Now all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines stopped up by filling them with earth. Then Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are too powerful for us.” And Isaac departed from there and camped in the valley of Gerar, and settled there.

Today’s chapter has a lot more than just the few verses I’ve selected and I sometimes wonder if we should draw more from it but there will be a time for that in the future. After Abraham and Sarah’s journey, we are now journeying with Isaac, Rebekah, Esau and Jacob.

Amazing how true the statement is that the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree! Isaac says to the Philistines the very same thing his father Abraham said to them that their wives were their sisters.

They were operating in fear instead of in faith and it is only by God’s grace that they were spared. We read later that Abimelech discovers the truth, is angry again, and prohibits anyone in the land from touching Rebekah.

Because Isaac does not go down to Egypt but stays in the land God promised to bless him in, he is now blessed with abundance of everything, so much so that Abimelech requests him to leave the land and Isaac then moves to the valley of Gerar and settles there.

As we read this passage, we can see the pain of lying, the fruit of obedience and the nature of God. What probably surprises us is why God permits suffering in our lives when we willingly follow Him? (more…)


Genesis 12:10-20 Now there was a famine in the land; so Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. It came about when he came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman; and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. “Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may live on account of you.” It came about when Abram came into Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. Pharaoh’s officials saw her and praised her to Pharaoh; and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. Therefore he treated Abram well for her sake; and gave him sheep and oxen and donkeys and male and female servants and female donkeys and camels. But the LORD struck Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. Then Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? “Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife, take her and go.” Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they escorted him away, with his wife and all that belonged to him.

We now start journeying with Abram and his family and it is an interesting journey indeed. God choses Abram to be the father of the nation and tells him to go to the land God has chosen for him to establish his family in.

Abram certainly was an obedient man and God clearly was being faithful in showing Abram the land that He would bless him with. As Abram journeyed to Negev, a famine hit the land and so Abram went west towards Egypt to take a break until the famine was over.

Sounds like a rational plan until we realize that Egypt was a land ruled by a people whose morals and ethics were far from those of Abram’s and therefore what Abram was venturing to do was a serious risk to life and limb.

This is when he makes the most bizarre request of his wife, Sarai, asking her to claim she is his sister. Technically speaking, this is not wrong because she is his father’s daughter from another mother, but the reality is that she is his wife and she belongs to him and no other man.

The question that comes to mind is not why did Abram did that but rather why God permitted him or rather why God did not stop him? (more…)


Revelation 18:1-3,8-11 After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory. And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. “For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality”… “For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong. “And the kings of the earth, who committed acts of immorality and lived sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’ “And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more

As I read chapter 18, my mind raced through the many countries, cities, power houses, etc. that could be referred here. Is it the commercial capitals of the world, the gambling cities, the largest corporations that drive the world economies??

Who could this great Babylon be and what could her sins be that God is so furious with her? Why is God so furious at this great city and what is He speaking to us this day through this great warning? (more…)


John 15:1-4
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me”

This morning, I woke up extra early as I was restless and ended up browsing the web for tennis news. As I did, I chanced upon a channel that showed how when little children are exposed to strong beliefs of their parents, they could become like their parents in a matter of no time. These children soon believed and spoke out passionately about things which would be considered disturbing to most. As I prayed before starting this devotional, I asked the Lord to fill you and me with his word to make us pure from within and cleanse us of any thoughts that would cause him pain. I realized that I wanted to sow the right seeds in my own life to be able to live a meaningful life. The only question is what is a meaningful life?

As we look at the world today, there seems to be pain written all over. Whether you look at the rich or the poor, the strong or the weak, there is hurt and pain and threat written on their faces. For some, it is a threat of natural disasters or the actuality of it, for some it is financial disasters, for some sickness and pain, for some bitterness, for some depression, mental illness, embarrassment, terrorism, etc. Would it be meaningful for us to commit to helping out people in any of these areas and would that be a meaningful life lived? Jesus Christ came to live among us at a time when all these issues existed and he lived a life of purpose, one where he showed that our purpose was to do the will of God, which is to direct all men to the Lord. Jesus came to fix the greatest problem of all, our SIN. We are called to serve him by witnessing to the lost how Jesus Christ saved us from our sinfulness and to direct them to their savior who would meet their every need. Are you signed up to make a difference?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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