Genesis 47 (ESV)
So Joseph went in and told Pharaoh, “My father and my brothers, with their flocks and herds and all that they possess, have come from the land of Canaan. They are now in the land of Goshen.” 2 And from among his brothers he took five men and presented them to Pharaoh. 3 Pharaoh said to his brothers, “What is your occupation?” And they said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, as our fathers were.” 4 They said to Pharaoh, “We have come to sojourn in the land, for there is no pasture for your servants’ flocks, for the famine is severe in the land of Canaan. And now, please let your servants dwell in the land of Goshen.” 5 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you. 6 The land of Egypt is before you. Settle your father and your brothers in the best of the land. Let them settle in the land of Goshen, and if you know any able men among them, put them in charge of my livestock.”
7 Then Joseph brought in Jacob his father and stood him before Pharaoh, and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. 8 And Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How many are the days of the years of your life?” 9 And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my sojourning are 130 years. Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their sojourning.” 10 And Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went out from the presence of Pharaoh . . . Continue Reading
Blessing and Provision
One of the lessons I’ve learned this year is to be content in all things. I used to think I would be but imagining and experiencing are not the same. Last year, I spent the first six months of the year trying to monetize music. For the past 16 years, I’ve made a living building websites and doing online marketing for small businesses and individuals but the web industry has changed dramatically with cheap do-it-yourself solutions that are “good enough” for many of my target audience. I decided it was time to shift gears and focus on what I “bring to a market” that is unique and proprietary – music – specifically teaching guitar.
While there is a lot of competition for guitar instruction, I have a unique approach to not only how I play and write music but how I teach. I create an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for each student that focuses on the specific needs of each student. You can’t get that from YouTube! I knew I needed something that would help me stand out from the competition. So I started AltTunings.com where I wrote a new song or song idea in a different tuning, recorded a live video of the performance, created free chord charts for that day’s song/tuning, published full chord charts of many tunings for sale and blogged about it 6 days a week. This had never been done before so it gave me a great opportunity to stand out from the competition.
The result? A severe famine!
I had to stop after six months and 165 tunings because I was unable to convert the attention into enough online lessons and sales of my chord charts to justify the investment of time it took to put it all together every day. I was also unable to find enough local students interested in taking lessons from me. Lesson learned!
The previous chapter of Genesis shows Joseph’s entire family and all they had moving from Canaan to Egypt. What caused this major disruption to their lives was a severe famine. Without food or the ability to sustain their own lives, they traveled to Egypt for blessing and provision from Joseph and Pharaoh. Because the opportunities for income where limited in those days, a famine meant a lot of people would die. Pharaoh provides for Joseph’s father Jacob and his entire family by allowing them to settle in Goshen which Pharaoh considered the “best of the land” (Genesis 47:6).
The famine was severe and it lasted for years. The people ran out of money and had to sell their land and themselves as servants to Pharaoh for food. In return, Pharaoh would receive 20% of all they earn while they get to keep 80% for themselves. That’s quite a deal considering the alternative!
An interesting section of Scripture jumped out at me this morning. Genesis 47:20-22 says, “So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for all the Egyptians sold their fields, because the famine was severe on them. The land became Pharaoh’s. 21 As for the people, he made servants of them from one end of Egypt to the other. 22 Only the land of the priests he did not buy, for the priests had a fixed allowance from Pharaoh and lived on the allowance that Pharaoh gave them; therefore they did not sell their land.” While Pharaoh was not a “man after God’s own heart”, he does recognize the value of God in the lives of people even if not for himself.
Chapter 47 closes with Joseph’s family succeeding in Goshen and Israel (Jacob) coming to the end of his life. He makes Joseph swear to him that he will not bury him in Egypt but let him lie with his fathers. Joseph agrees.
In the past when I’ve read Genesis, I’ve seen it more as history (which it is) but because I’ve been writing after I read it, I see it come to life. I’m thankful for the lessons found throughout the Word of God and I often think back on what I’ve read throughout the day.
In closing, I’m thankful that God didn’t bless my ambitious effort to monetizing music last year. I see his blessing and provision in not allowing that to happen. The impact my personal famine has had on my life has forever changed my relationship with God and has given me clarity and understanding that financial success would have actually impeded.
Father, thank you for my famine. I praise you for not allowing my efforts to prosper so you could do a different work in me. I am grateful for all that you have done in place of my pursuits and have learned to trust you for all that I am and all that I have. You are amazing God! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Thank you for reading my daily online journal today. Far from commentaries these are just my initial thoughts after reflecting on what I’ve read from a chapter in God’s Word each morning. This not only helps me apply what I’ve read because I’m reflecting and sharing instead of only reading but it also allows me to encourage others to prayerfully consider doing the same.
In His Care,