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The Seven Years of Famine

INTRODUCTION: Genesis 41:55 – “And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do.”

We will take this incident in history as an allegory giving a picture of greater truths:

  • The people are the people of the world
  • The days of plenty are the former days of spiritual blessing in America
  • The famine is the famine of truth in the world
  • The bread is the bread of the word and salvation through Jesus Christ
  • The Pharaoh, the King, is God the Father
  • Joseph is Jesus Christ
    1. The Days of Plenty were Past (Genesis 41:53)
    2. The Famine was Worldwide (Genesis 41:56a; Amos 8:11); Note: state of Christianity in developing countries
    3. The Famine Threatened their Lives (Ezekiel 33:11 for why will ye die)
    1. The People Cried for Bread
      1. The bread of salvation (Isaiah 55:1-2)
      2. The bread is Jesus Christ (John 6:35, 51)
    2. The People Cried to Pharaoh the King
      1. A picture of the world as such, he cannot help them (Isaiah 30:1-3; Isaiah 31:1)
      2. In contrast, a picture of the God the Father as such, He sends the people to Joseph who is a type of Jesus Christ
    1. Go to Joseph
      1. Joseph is a powerful type of Jesus Christ (Acts 7:45; Hebrews 4:8)
      2. God the Father sends us to the Son
        1. For salvation (John 14:6; 1 Timothy 2:5-6)
        2. For prayer (John 14:13-14)
        3. For fullness (John 1:16; Colossians 2:9-10)
    2. Do What He Says
      1. At the marriage feast (John 2:5)
      2. Honor the Son (John 5:23)

CONCLUSION: Prepare to Meet thy God! – Martin Madan (1726-1790) “was a member of a noteworthy family and independently wealthy. Though proficient in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, his principle study had been law, and he was, in his early twenties, already a practicing London lawyer with some promise. One night he was idling with some of his companions in a coffee house when the group hit upon an idea for some novel diversion. One had heard that John Wesley was preaching nearby. Madan, a noted mimic, was urged to go to hear Wesley and then to return and imitate his ‘manner and discourse’ as a crown to the evening’s entertainment.

“Off went Madan in pursuit of amusement, but just as he entered the hall Wesley was declaring his text, ‘Prepare to meet thy God!’ [Amos 4:12] and Madan was somewhat sobered by the force of it. He sat down and grew more sober still as the preacher exhorted his audience to repentance. When he returned later to his ‘midnight modern conversation’ at the coffee house, he was asked whether he had ‘taken off the old Methodist.’ He replied, ‘No, gentlemen, but he has taken me off.’ From that time he left his old friends and sought means of growth for his newly awakened spiritual life…This same Madan…was a timely instrument in the rescue and conversion of his cousin, the would-be legal clerk and later poet and hymn writer, William Cowper.” We still sing Cowper’s hymn, “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood.” –from English Spirituality in the Age of Wesley by David Lyle Jeffrey (p.16-17).