Imagine waking up from a dream where seven skinny, dying cows
just finished eating...yes, I did say eating!...seven fat, healthy cows!
And the seven skinny cows don't look any better at the end! Only to fall
asleep again and have a similar dream, this time with seven shriveled
heads of grain devouring seven plump, healthy heads of grain and looking
none the better for their meal!
That's what happened to the Pharaoh of Egypt, and at this
point, the Bible says He woke up understandably upset: "Then Pharaoh
woke up; it had been a dream. In the morning his mind was troubled..."
(Gen. 41:7b-8a NIV)
This was a meaningful dream, and we know that Joseph would
later interpreted it: "Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, 'The dreams of
Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is
about to do. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good
heads of grain are seven years; it is one and the same dream. The seven
lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years, and so are the
seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind: They are seven
years of famine.'" (Gen. 41:25-27 NIV). We also know that this is
exactly what came to pass: There were seven years of plenty, followed by
seven years of famine (See
In much the same way, we also go through
times of "plenty", when things seem to be going well. There are no
troubles to speak of, or at least not any big ones; and God's hand is
visibly upon us and we hear Him speaking to us. As we all well know,
however, we are not always in those times of spiritual "plenty". There
are also times of spiritual "famine", in which God seems quite far away.
Troubles abound, and we can't sense His presence or hear His voice. What
do we do to carry on? How can we...survive?
The clue to this lies
in the story of Joseph: "Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the
land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of
abundance. They should collect all the food of these good years that are
coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept
in the cities for food. This food should be held in reserve for the
country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon
Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine." (Gen.
We know from reading through the next two chapters
in Genesis that this is exactly what Pharaoh did. He actually appoint
Joseph as the one to oversee the gathering of the harvest (See
Gen. 41:41-45). Storehouses were built, and 1/5 of the bounty of the
seven years of plenty was put into storage (See
Gen. 41:46-49). When the seven-year famine began, the people were
ready. They not only had enough grain to get by, but there was also a
little extra to sell to outsiders who came to Egypt seeking food:
"And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the
famine was severe everywhere." (Gen. 41:57 NLT).
solution to surviving the times of famine lies in storing up during the
times of plenty.
What does this mean for us during our times of
Just this: As we go through our times of
"plenty", we need to "store up" for the times of spiritual "famine"!
But wait: How can we "store up" our "plenty" to be used in times of
"famine"? Join us next week for "Pharaoh's Dream, Part 2: Storing up our
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author --
"Aboard God's Train -- A
Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet
Scriptural Nuggets, a
website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with
Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire "Pharaoh's Dream" mini-series, please