Summary: Put your trust and hope in God, not government.
As a political libertarian I found myself somewhat irritated with the section of scripture we’re studying this morning. The Egyptians lost their money, their livestock, their land, and their freedom. The Egyptian government assumed control of their property and their persons. How did Pharaoh accomplish this? He used force in a crisis. Think about it a minute. In the story the people gave up everything for food. Pharaoh had what they needed. Where did he get those large stores of grain? He used coercion, the point of the spear, the threat of death to take 20% of every man’s produce during the 7 plentiful years. He sold back to the people the very thing he took from them by force. He used their own goods to enslave them.
What makes this even harder to swallow is that it was the plan of God’s man, Joseph. The 20% tax was his idea. He was the director of operations. Joseph was the guy who took the money, livestock, land, and freedom from the Egyptians and gave it all to Pharaoh. A superficial examination of his actions would put Joseph on par with communists like Lenin and Mao. How do we reconcile the enslaving policies of this man who was used powerfully by God with the expressed intention of this same God, who in the flesh, made statements like the following?
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,” Luke 4:18
The Apostle Paul consistently proclaimed God’s intention to bring liberty to captives everywhere.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Cor. 3:17
If the Spirit of the Lord was working through Joseph, why did his efforts bring enslavement rather than liberty? We’ll sort this out in just a minute.
My irritation studying this passage turned to shock when I realized that our nation is headed down the same path, but with slightly different means of getting there. We are headed toward generational enslavement at the hands of our government and few people seem to even care. Let me show you how similar our situation is to the Egyptians. Our government is using an economic crisis and its power of coercion to rob us of possessions and liberty.
• February 13, 2008. Economic Stimulus Act of 2008. Distributed about $160 billion in tax rebates. It increased mortgage loan limits.
• July 30. Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. FHA guaranteed up to $300 billion in new mortgages. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed under the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
• October 1. Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. The U.S. Secretary of the Treasury was authorized to spend $700 billion on the banking system. (AIG, one of the recipients, recently paid $165 million in bonuses with this money.
• In February of this year an $800 billion economic stimulus bill passed Congress and was signed into law by President Obama.