Summary: As we consider the outcome of Pharaoh's dreams, seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine, we see that Joseph learnt to trust God not only in abunsance but also in disaster both of which are under God's sovereign control.
TRUSTING GOD … WHEN FIG TREE DOES NOT BUD!
“As predicted, for seven years the land produced bumper crops. During those years, Joseph gathered all the crops grown in Egypt and stored the grain from the surrounding fields in the cities. He piled up huge amounts of grain like sand on the seashore. Finally, he stopped keeping records because there was too much to measure. During this time, before the first of the famine years, two sons were born to Joseph and his wife, Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On. Joseph named his older son Manasseh, for he said, “God has made me forget all my troubles and everyone in my father’s family.” Joseph named his second son Ephraim, for he said, “God has made me fruitful in this land of my grief.” At last the seven years of bumper crops throughout the land of Egypt came to an end. Then the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had predicted. The famine also struck all the surrounding countries, but throughout Egypt there was plenty of food. Eventually, however, the famine spread throughout the land of Egypt as well. And when the people cried out to Pharaoh for food, he told them, “Go to Joseph, and do whatever he tells you.” So with severe famine everywhere, Joseph opened up the storehouses and distributed grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout the land of Egypt. And people from all around came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph because the famine was severe throughout the world.” (Genesis 41:47–57, NLT)
As autumn was drawing to a close, the Indians on a remote reservation asked their new Chief if the winter was going to be cold or mild. Since he was an Indian Chief it was expected of him to be able to predict the weather. Unfortunately, he had never been taught the secrets of his ancestors. Nevertheless, because he was the chief he had to say something. So he told his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should begin to gather firewood in preparation.
Wanting to make certain of his prediction, he decided to call the local branch of the National Weather Service. "Is the coming winter going to be cold?" he asked.
"It looks as if this winter will be quite cold," the meteorologist at the weather service responded. So the Chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more wood in order to be prepared.
A week later, he called the National Weather Service again. "Is it going to be a very cold winter?" "Yes," the man at National Weather Service replied, "I am fairly certain that it is going to be a very cold winter." The Chief went back to his people and told them to collect every scrap of wood they could find.
Two weeks later, he called the National Weather Service again. "Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?" "Absolutely," the man replied. "It’s going to be one of the coldest winters ever." "How can you be so sure?" the Chief asked. To which the weatherman replied, "The Indians on the local Reservation are collecting wood like crazy."
One way of forecasting weather patterns! Someone said the weatherman is the only profession that makes a living by consistently telling untruths. Reminds one of the story of the old farmer who had a small piece of rope hanging from his porch under which was a sign reading ’weather forecaster’. “How does this work?” a visitor asked the old farmer. “It’s quite simple” replied the old man “when it swings it is windy; when it is wet it is raining; when it is dry it is clear; when it is frozen stiff it is snowing. When it is gone…we‘re having a tornado!”
Whilst it may be a problem to correctly forecast the weather, the Bible leaves us in no doubt as to who controls the weather! This brings us to our next topic … TRUSTING GOD … WHEN THE FIG TREE DOES NOT BUD! So far as we have looked at the life of Joseph we have learnt about …
1. TRUSTING GOD … IN ALL LIFE’S EVENTS!
2. TRUSTING GOD … WHEN YOUR DREAMS GO DOWN THE DRAIN!
3. TRUSTING GOD WHEN TEMPTATION CREEPS IN!
4. TRUSTING GOD WHEN YOU HAVE BEEN WRONGED!
5. TRUSTING GOD WHEN GOD PUT YOUR LIFE ON HOLD!
6. TRUSTING GOD WHEN THINGS GO YOUR WAY!
Today we turn our focus onto how Joseph continued to trust God when things started to happen just as God said it would.
7. TRUSTING GOD WHEN THE FIG TREE DOES NOT BUD!
As we consider the seven years of plenty followed by the seven years of famine, we see that JOSEPH TRUSTED GOD IN THE MIDST OF ABUNDANCE AND DISASTER IN THE NATURAL WORLD BECAUSE …