Chapter 41, Verse 25 – 37:
And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath showed
Pharaoh what he is about to do.
The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the
dream is one.
And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and
the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine.
This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he
showeth unto Pharaoh.
Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt:
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;
And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it
shall be very grievous.
And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is
established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land
Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth
part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years.
And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under
the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities.
And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which
shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine.
And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants.
The moral of Pharaoh’s dream and of the interpretations made by Joseph may sound so simple, for it has been taught to us by our parents since our childhood, and so too by our Economics professors, and even by our banking advisors. We learned to cautiously plan ahead for the future, save prudently our finances, conserve wisely our resources, and prepare ourselves for the unforeseen shortages that may crop up in the long run. It explains not at all times our harvests will be plentiful.
To complement the lesson however, it is not a necessity right now to re-assess our present financial standings, nor appraise our properties and assets, and not even re-examine the inventory of our storerooms if we still have enough food reserved for the coming weeks or months.
What the story would like to impart to us, which may sound actually a lot simpler than what we first learned, is that we must re-evaluate our present moral standings based on the checklist given to us by God: the Supervisor of Life, the Pharaoh of Souls. Even how well we equip our bodies with proper gears to avoid future economic downfalls, they are not enough to arm our souls against the coming of the most horrible spiritual holocaust. In our continual process of hunting for physical satisfactions of earthly life, we overlook the spiritual requirements of our souls necessary to defend them from the famine established by God in the coming years, which is about to consume our souls all the way to the depths of hell. Once this famine has consumed us, “plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following, for it shall be grievous” which means our plentiful life on earth will soon be forgotten and deemed worthless, for a scarcity in spiritual resources is far more dreadful than experiencing life in material insufficiency.
Therefore, similar to Joseph’s advice, we must look out for ways, “discreet and wise” and set them over this land of our temporary existence. We must not burden ourselves completely in hoarding all the gratifications of the body known to man for they will lead us to all sorts of debaucheries; but incline ourselves to seeking the bliss, achieved only when our hearts and spirits are contented, and when we are standing on the solid grounds of virtue.
We must also “appoint officers” over our present life, who will guide us in every facet of our daily activities: in our endeavors and pursuit of goals, in leisure and interests, in work and occupations, and in our relationships with the family and other people. These “officers” should be true apostles of God. We must be cautious in choosing them for the devil had anointed countless false prophets and scattered them all over the earth to mislead us towards our own destruction, and towards the devastation of this land of God made for us all.
To divert a little from this portion of the story, kindly give me a chance to share with you a short lecture on the topic being discussed. One way to find out if your “chosen officer” is a true preacher of God’s word is to look upon his ways and manners of enticing the listeners. Then analyze carefully and answer the following few guidelines to determine the authenticity of his trade:
- Does he worry more about your financial reputation than your soul’s
- Does he keep saying if you listen to his words, God will abound you with material richness, and that you will be able to buy this and that?
- Does he “oblige” you to give back to God the blessings He had given you through contributions to his organization rather than to give directly to the needy? And does he keep using verses in the Scriptures to justify his demand?
- Does he consider his vocation a job or a mission? How does he sustain his personal financial needs? Is he using his “full-time dedication” to his church to justify his means?
- Is he concerned more about himself than the people’s welfare? Does he give more priority to wealthy individuals rather than to those hungry for enlightenment?
- Does his organization present itself more like an enterprise (to profit) rather than a true ministry of God (to serve others)?
- Are his teachings more focused on biblical history and facts (academic know-how’s based on written manuals) rather than the relevant wisdom of the book (life-improving applications based on reputable understanding of the Bible’s text)?
These are just some pointers to help you decide if you belong to the right religious group or not, if you are hearing words of a devoted preacher of God or not. You must take heed, for not everything beautiful to the ears is advantageous to the spirit. Do not be misled, not all clear and comfortable roads indicate the right direction and point towards the right destination.
In continuance of the story, according to Joseph we must “take up the fifth part of the land… in the seven plenteous years” which means we must reserve to our Pharaoh a portion of our life, and allot to Him a considerable portion of our time in all the years we spend on this earth. We live not solely for the fulfillment of our desires, and the life of each of us is not entirely for our sole expenditure, but must be conserved partly and be brought under the Pharaoh’s authority for He is entitled to it. We must “gather all the food of those good years that come”, all the knowledge, the wisdom, and insights we can discern from the words of God and our life experiences we must gather and keep in our minds and spirits so that we may not perish during the famines to come. These righteous things we do, are and will remain, “good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes” of us all, His servants.