John Keats once said, “Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced – even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it.” What are you painting on your life canvas? Fearing hard times ahead? Durable Faith offers wise advice from the life Joseph.
Taking our lead from Joseph
by Durable Faith
I often think about Joseph and the dream about the prosperous years followed by the hard times. There are several interesting things about the biblical account.
In ancient Egypt most people were involved in agriculture. In agriculture, the weather plays a huge role. One bad storm can ruin your crops. So, most farmers would not put all their seed in the ground. They would have next season’s seed set aside. And they would have enough food/money on hand to get them to at least the next harvest season in case the unexpected happened.
Can you imagine the fear, the uncertainty, the paranoia that a farmer would feel if he had been reckless. If had all his seed in the ground, crops near harvest, and a deep dark hail storm was approaching, how would he feel? If the farmer had sufficient food stored up for his family in his basement, and he had enough money to procure next season’s seed, perhaps the storm would be disappointing but not devastating. His fear would be in proportion to his preparation.
How would farmers behavior tend to shift, if for seven years straight they had record crops? Would they hold back more seed or less? Probably less. Would they have more food storage or less? Probably less. The natural effect of 7 years of prosperity would be reckless behavior as people began to believe that times would always be good. But as we know, as any student of history knows, that is simply not true. So God sent a warning and had Joseph put in just the right place to ensure the survival and even prosperity of his people.
In our modern times, hardly anyone is involved in farming, we live in a just-in-time economy that is possible because we have had DECADES of prosperity. As I have discussed in other posts, fossil fuels, modern technology, and fractional banking have come together in a perfect storm to create a period of unrivaled prosperity in human history. So naturally, we have become reckless. All our seed is in the ground, we have no reserves, we have borrowed money from our children’s children and the mother of all hail storms is fast approaching.
So what should we do?