These chapters sparked a similar reflection in me as Carly observed last time. The LORD so often lifts up the younger, weaker, or least likely, to be the recipients of blessing. I wonder if Jacob did this on purpose, as a younger brother thief of birthright.
Israel successfully settles in Egypt as the rest of the country struggles to survive. The way in which Joseph makes Pharaoh wealthy at the great cost of the Egyptian people is very interesting. Parts of it sound familiar to the upcoming laws of Sinai:
- Priests get their own land allotted by the theocratic government.
- People can sell their land in order to pay debts.
- They can also sell themselves into slavery.
A major introduced difference will be the glorious Year of Jubilee, which calls for a reset: Slaves regain their freedom, debts are cancelled and everyone returns to their original land.
I struggle with Joseph charging the Egyptians like this with no such “Year of Jubilee” ahead of them, but it’s a sober reminder that times get tough. It’s probably unavoidable. But, there’s always hope for freedom, redemption of things lost, and restoration of former glories.
Life is full of seasons and cycles between feast and famine. The LORD has graciously put an expectation date on everything.
Think about your current situation, the season you find yourself in. Know that it’s not forever. Maybe that inspires you to hold on to glorious feelings. Maybe it encourages you to let go of disappointments.
Even though these chapters end with Egyptians in poverty and Israel sitting pretty, that’s about to get flipped on its head too.
Let’s extend grace to one another in our varied seasons. Let’s also know when it’s time to forgive a debt, restore a relationship or free yourself and others from something holding you back.