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|Religion / Re: Bible Study For Bible Students by Esamagidi: 12:29pm On Nov 11, 2008|
[center]Joseph: A Leader in times of Economic Crisis
Joseph was a leader sent for a period of financial and economic crisis. Though his master Pharaoh became richer than all the kings of the region, the general populace became impoverished. First, the people of the land ran out of money:
[i]14And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they bought: and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house.[/i] (Genesis 47:14)
Second, they gave their cattle, horses and means of livelihood in exchange for bread:
15And when money failed in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, Give us bread: for why should we die in thy presence? for the money faileth.
16And Joseph said, Give your cattle; and I will give you for your cattle, if money fail.
17And they brought their cattle unto Joseph: and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for horses, and for the flocks, and for the cattle of the herds, and for the asses: and he fed them with bread for all their cattle for that year. (Genesis 47:15-17)
Third they sold their lands and persons in exchange for bread.
18When that year was ended, they came unto him the second year, and said unto him, We will not hide it from my lord, how that our money is spent; my lord also hath our herds of cattle; there is not ought left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and our lands:
19Wherefore shall we die before thine eyes, both we and our land? buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh: and give us seed, that we may live, and not die, that the land be not desolate.
20And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine prevailed over them: so the land became Pharaoh's. (Genesis 47:18-20)
Fourth, the people of the land lost their homes and cities:
21And as for the people, he removed them to cities from one end of the borders of Egypt even to the other end thereof. (Genesis 47:21)
Fifth, he gave an economic stimulus package upon which imposed a twenty percent gross income tax.
23Then Joseph said unto the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo, here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land.
24And it shall come to pass in the increase, that ye shall give the fifth part unto Pharaoh, and four parts shall be your own, for seed of the field, and for your food, and for them of your households, and for food for your little ones. (Genesis 47:23-24)
Sixth, Joseph amended the constitution of the land giving more earning power to the already wealthy Pharaoh at the expense of the people.
26And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt unto this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth part, except the land of the priests only, which became not Pharaoh's. (Genesis 47:26)
Joseph came into power at a very important time in the history of Egypt and Canaan. To fully carry out his assignment, he was given full executive mandate by Pharaoh and by God to exercise discretion in handling the affairs of the time. In response, Joseph worked exclusively for the interest of his family and the interest the King who put him in power. His laws and economic policies solely favored the king and the king’s priests, while the citizens of the land plunged deeper and deeper into penury until they became slaves in their own land with nothing to call their own, and their earning power greatly reduced to the barest minimum. In the midst of this hardship, even the choice of where to live as free citizens was taken from the Egyptians by Joseph. He herded the Egyptians like cattle from their homes “to cities from one end of the borders of Egypt even to the other end ….” It must have been a very challenging time for the average Egyptian: to have lost money, property, status, and be forced on exile in your own country; to be stripped of everything you have always known in terms history and geography; to be forced to live for less than half of what you were worth, while the rich priests of the land remain rich and untouched must have been close to unbearable, and all these suffering from the hands of a man who was privy to the counsel of God for his generation; of remarkable wisdom, proven economic insight, and rare leadership skills.
If the success of a leader is measured by how well the common people fared in his time, little can be said for Joseph; if the success of a leader is measured by his interest in the progress or betterment of the common people, little can be said of Joseph in Egypt.
At end what did Joseph achieve: He lived several years; he built cities and wealth for pharaoh, and made Pharaoh several times more powerful than the Egyptians intended. What legacy did he live behind? What do the annals of Egypt say of him? NOTHING! Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. (Exodus 1:eight). Even the kings, whom Joseph helped to unprecedented power, did not keep record of him; his contributions to their enormous wealth got washed away in the hot desert sands of Egypt, where he reduced the people to bond slaves. Nevertheless, Joseph laid a formidable foundation for the suffering of his own people. Having single handedly lifted Pharaoh to the status of a god in Egypt: owner of all land, property and souls of Egypt, the Egyptians took Pharaoh’s orders as law. Even when Pharaoh asked the Egyptians to murder innocent Hebrew babies, there was no one to oppose him except two midwives who were beginning to out grow the slave mentality to which Joseph introduced the Egyptians some centuries prior. Other than those two women, and Pharaoh’s daughter in the palace, killing Hebrew babies was a welcome idea as long as the king said it. Joseph also, set the machinery in motion for the enslavement of his own people. Having reduced the Egyptians to slaves in their own land, it was a welcome idea when a new king finally told the Egyptians, “it was time to slaughter the sacred cows, why should strangers be mightier than we citizens, hey guys trade places with them, be masters from now on and make them the slaves.’’
And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we:
Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.
11Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. (Exodus 1:9-11)
This was the king the Egyptians have been yearning for; here at last was the true Pharaoh, god sent, the one who knew how to take care of his people and restore their honor and dignity. It was pay back time for the people of the man who watched them slide into slavery. And they made sure they carried out the king’s instruction to the letter:
And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour:
And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour. (Exodus 1: 13-14).
|Religion / Re: Bible Study For Bible Students by Esamagidi: 6:29am On Nov 11, 2008|
[center]Obtaining the Promise: Is God in the Turn? Pt. One
There is a pattern in the bible that reveals how God relates with his people when it comes to promises he has made to them. It is a pattern of talking about the end product but not the materials that would go into it or the process or routes that the product would go through, and it is the process that make many of God’s people fall out with him and lose out on a great destiny. When the compass points south of the promises you have received of God what exactly is going on?
As a little boy, Joseph saw the Sun and the moon and the eleven stars bow down before him:
9And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
10And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? (Genesis 37)
What Joseph saw as a little boy was an unmistakable promise of greatness; greatness that exceeded his father’s household; greatness to which even the patriarch Jacob, who would kowtow. That kind of blessing was unheard of in his family— if anything, blasphemous! To say that he, little Joseph was going to receive a blessing that was greater than what Jacob had to deceive Esau and Isaac to obtain; a blessing Jacob had to win after an all-night mortal combat with an angel; a blessing greater than the blessing that has been in the family for three centuries running, having been carefully passed down from father to son—to even remotely insinuate that level of greatness just didn’t sound right, “and his father rebuked him” . That was how big Joseph’s promised blessing was in the eyes and ears of those who heard him narrate his dreams.
However, nobody—not even Joseph knew the process it would take to make the man to whom even Jacob would bow in the moment of need.
Joseph dreamt of the greatness, but he did not see the pit… well God never mentioned it in the dream. Twice Joseph was thrown into a pit on his journey to greatness: (thrown into a dry well by his brothers, thrown into a dungeon by potiphar).
Apparently Joseph did not see the chains too…oops! God left that part out. Twice he was in chain: (To Egypt, and in Jail).
Similarly, Joseph saw the honour, but did not see the betrayals that were ahead…hmm, another detail omitted. Twice he was betrayed by family members (by brothers, and by the Potiphars whom he served with all his might, and had come to take him as a member of the family).
Also, Joseph did not see the ingratitude ahead…ahhshhhh that must had hurt! God left that part out of the blueprint to greatness. Twice Joseph’s services for people were forgotten (Potiphar did not remember in anger, and the baker forgot like most humans).
Surprisingly, Joseph was not told of the curves ahead of his life though he was in full knowledge of the final outcome of his life’s journey. Teasingly two of those major curves in Joseph’s life superficially pointed south of what God promised him. The first curve led him into slavery, the second dragged him into a maximum security prison—now one of those curves should have been mentioned in the dream, shouldn’t it? Well, God didn’t. Poor Joseph! It wasn’t what he expected.
Above all, God did not tell Joseph the time of the fulfillment of his childhood dream. I can relate to that. Twice Joseph told the exact timing of others dreams: the precise time of the famine and surplus; the precise time of the dreams of his fellow prisoners would be fulfilled, yet the fulfillment of his own was kept from him.
End of Part One:
Question: Why did God talk about the fulfillment of Joseph’s destiny and not the process?
|Religion / Bible Study For Bible Students by Esamagidi: 6:23am On Nov 11, 2008|
This section of the forum is dedicated to in-depth study of scriptures, the Holy Bible. Let those who have the grace teach with love, inspiration and understanding; be humble enough to step out when the water gets too deep for their insight, and let those endowed with sufficient grace steer the course to edification.
Holy Spirit, guide and guard this thread, and sustain only those you have in mind. May you feed the hungry, satisfy the thirsty, and open the blind eyes through the teaching of your word. Above all, may all glory be given to your Son, Jesus Christ. Release your presence now, O Lord, and take charge of the hearts and mind of men and women as they stop-by for a drink or to offer a drink to others. Personally sanctify the water that is offered in this thread, and prevail against strange fire. In this thread, which is now officially under your auspices, feed your people with meat that is kosher, kosher, and kosher only. In Jesus name, AMEN!
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