Summary: If the mad cows get loose in the life of a dreamer, they can kill the dream.

Genesis 41:1-4 KJV And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river. [2] And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed; and they fed in a meadow. [3] And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river. [4] And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke.


In the late 1980’s a strange malady begin to affect the cows primarily in Great Britain although there were some other scattered cases around Europe. The symptoms of what would be called “Mad Cow Disease” affected the neurological system of cows. A tiny protein that had run amok in the brain of the cows would cause them to have an unsteady gait in which they would stumble and fall and not be able to get up without great assistance. This tiny protein infection literally turned the brains and spinal cords of infected cows into a spongy like substance prior to it being fatal to the cow.

The likely culprit causing the infection was from contaminated bone meal that had been fed to the cows. There were some who even linked it to contamination from infected sheep whose bones were ground up and placed in various cow feeds. But those who watched the cows infected by this and then their demise were very troubled by the process by which the cow would either die or would be shot prior to their death.

Then the fear factor began to descend and people were concerned that they could get infected by eating the contaminated meat. There were a very small amount of people who did indeed contract the disease and in the human form was called Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease after the two physicians that discovered it.

-But long before the Mad Cow Disease came about in the late ‘80’s, there was a Pharoah who had a dream about seven mad cows!


-It appears at the time that Pharoah had his dream that all was well with Egypt. Economically, politically, and their military were experiencing a great time of wealth and security. It perhaps could be said that Egypt was the super-power of the time.

A. Pharaoh’s Dream

-But there is something disturbing about dreams that we remember when we wake up. This was the case with Pharaoh. He dreamed two successive dreams in which seven seemed to be the number and the devouring of good seemed to be the theme.

• Seven fat cows, seven lean cows.

• Seven healthy ears of corn, seven withered ears of corn.

• Lean cows eating fat cows.

• Withered corn eating healthy corn.

• Yet the appearance of the lean cows and withered corn never changed. (Genesis 41:15-24)

-The Scriptures portray this dream in great detail concerning the river which was understood as the Nile. This was symbolic of the fertility. Seven healthy cows and full ears of corn, seven years of wealth and prosperity and the seven lean cows and withered ears are seven years of famine.

-Pharaoh’s dream will come into the life of every man. We are not immune from it nor should we be. With every hint of prosperity, there will be a leveling action of adversity.

-Our lives are filled with variables, changes, and challenges. The old writers used a word for this called “vicissitudes” which meant the changes of fortunes or the ups and downs of life.

• Life is not one run on uninterrupted happiness; there will be seasons of sadness.

• Life is not one long occasion of good health, there will be seasons of sickness.

• Life is not one victory after another, there will be losses to overcome.

• Life is not just prosperity; there are some setbacks to endure.

• Life is not one accomplishment after another, there will be hopes that are dashed.

-There will be mad cows that will come along and attempt to destroy you.

B. The Mad Cows That Talk

-Furthermore, it will not be too long in life before you notice that the “mad cows” can talk. I would like to go another whole different portion of Scripture to illustrate what I mean by this. From various places in the book of Nehemiah, you will see what I am talking about.

-The mad cows of your dreams will do everything they can to devour what God is trying to help you to build up. Nehemiah faced his detractors but he kept on working. Consider the foes that Nehemiah had to contend with.

1. Sanballat—The Mad Cow of Anger

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