Joseph and Pharaoh in Genesis 47 are chalk full of spiritual revelations. You could write a book out of this one chapter! But I'm going to focus on the main lesson, the spiritual climate, and cost involved that leads to a revival.
Before I get too far, I wanted to break down the main players and reveal who they represent.
Joseph represents God the Son, Jesus Christ
Pharaoh represents God the Father
I will reveal the rest as it is relevant throughout the breakdown.
Video Version of this breakdown:
"There was no food, however, in the whole region because the famine was severe; both Egypt and Canaan wasted away because of the famine."
Before the revival can come, there has to first be the famine. The famine is appointed by God to refine those who will endure and kill off the weaker ones who only wanted the blessings without the blood (The hyper grace without the sacrifice teaching that is very common in the western countries). There is another facet to this famine, not only could be physical but it could be spiritual as well.
Spiritual famines happen when God doesn't speak to his children through signs, visions, or his Holy Spirit. It's not permanent, only for a season (It can last beyond God's appointed time if you're unfaithful or disobedient). We see an example of this in Samuel 3:1 "And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision." and if you've been with Christ long enough you'll experience a dry season. I myself am on the tail end of one right now!
A spiritual famine is first noticed by those who are looking for something more than just surface level "Churchianity", they want a deeper relationship with God. Like Jesus says in Matthew 5:6 "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." You have to be already drinking the living water of Christ to recognize your spirit is even thirsty. And if the famine is physical and spiritual get the storehouse ready! Something BIG is on the way!
"And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they bought: and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house."
Joseph collected all the money and brought it into Pharaoh's house to pay for their corn supply. Replacing Joseph for Jesus and Pharaoh for God the Father and we see this through a whole new lens. Once the spiritual famine hits, the spiritual prices start to rise!
This rise in spiritual prices is the level of sacrifice increasing to get the same "touch" from God. You have prayer sessions where you don't feel the Holy Spirit like you used to, but you're pushing even deeper to feel his presence like before. And to those of us who live off the presence of God, you're more than willing to pay this price but there is one problem. The problem is you only have so much you can do to pay this fee, and you eventually run out. You run out by only having so much time for prayer in the day, you run out by loosing stamina to keep the same pace, no matter your spiritual currency, you run out of it.
"15 And when money failed in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, Give us bread: for why should we die in thy presence? for the money faileth."
Notice how the people came to Joseph first? When we are in a spiritual drought, we need to be looking to Jesus for direction. We CANNOT look to anyone else, and if you're already near to God he will give you the next steps you need to take.
A New Sacrifice
"16 And Joseph said, Give your cattle; and I will give you for your cattle, if money fail.
17 And they brought their cattle unto Joseph: and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for horses, and for the flocks, and for the cattle of the herds, and for the asses: and he fed them with bread for all their cattle for that year."
Joseph gives them direction on what to do next to survive. The cattle in this verse represents real things in our life. God will be directing you on the specifics but this is most often relationships, cars, clothes, tv, food (fasting much longer), hobbies, etc. It's uncomfortable to give it up, but if you want to experience the power of God in your everyday life, it must be done.
Note, after each level of sacrifice Joseph gives them bread in return. As you go deeper into the levels of sacrifice, God will replace your sacrifice with his power. All of this is contingent on faith. Let's take note on how important it is to be blind to our carnal sight.
If you were there during a famine, would you have been obedient to give up all your money? Or how about giving up your cattle? The carnal man would value his money too much to give it up, and wouldn't even fathom giving up their cattle. They would say, "Give up my cattle? Are you crazy, worst case I can eat this cattle." And I'm sure they would eat their cattle, but the carnal man cannot receive the things of the spirit because their sprit man died of starvation waiting a year for the spiritual food to come...
The Final Hope
"When that year was ended, they came unto him the second year, and said unto him, We will not hide it from my lord, how that our money is spent; my lord also hath our herds of cattle; there is not ought left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and our lands:"
God doesn't want your money, he doesn't want your time, and he doesn't want your carnal sacrifice. God wants YOU, all of this sacrifice is to test your faithfulness and obedience. It's to purify and uproot everything in your life so you will have nothing but faith to stand. God does this to prepare you for the biggest and most costly sacrifice, your life.
"Wherefore shall we die before thine eyes, both we and our land? buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh: and give us seed, that we may live, and not die, that the land be not desolate. 20 And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine prevailed over them: so the land became Pharaoh's. 21 And as for the people, he removed them to cities from one end of the borders of Egypt even to the other end thereof."
Joseph bought the people, their land and moved them out of their cities to farm land. Jesus put you through this whole trial so he can buy the one thing he wanted from the start, you. God wants to turn you into a servant, and this whole season of sacrifice and dedication was to prep you into being the servant God wants you to be. Servants are slave to their masters and this is how we should see our walk with Jesus, why else do you think Paul calls himself a servant of Jesus Christ several times in the New Testament?
And glory to God the living God wants to be our master! The master is responsible for providing all the needs of the servant! No matter where God sends you, no matter what the cost both physical and spiritual, God will cover the cost! To walk in the power of the Holy Spirit like the apostles and disciples did, you have to be a servant of Jesus Christ. From the doctrine you preach, to the money in your bank account, to the power to heal the sick, God provides everything and directs your steps.
"Then Joseph said unto the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo, here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land. And it shall come to pass in the increase, that ye shall give the fifth part unto Pharaoh, and four parts shall be your own, for seed of the field, and for your food, and for them of your households, and for food for your little ones."
The seed Joseph gave the people to plant is the word of God and your mustard seed of faith! Once you plant the word of God everywhere in your life you end up reaping God's power:
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."
The Faithful Master
"And they said, Thou hast saved our lives: let us find grace in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's servants. 27 And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly."
Our God is not playing around with you. If you will obey him and listen to his guidance, you will experience the rain and increase like never before. Your soul will be replenished Jesus' everlasting water, you will not worry about your provision, you will be gifted with the mustard seed to move mountains, and God will reveal his mysteries to you (I received this knowledge to even make this blog because the Holy Spirit revealed this to me in prayer one morning!).
Let me warn you, God is just as serious about the famine as he is the rain. If you will not listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you will not see the rain. The season will drag on, and God doesn't make exceptions. The Israelites died in the wilderness because of their disobedience, and the Holy Spirit will pass you up after a period of time. God will give this opportunity to your children, your neighbors, your boss, and your enemy if you won't submit. But just like the Israelites dying in the wilderness, there is no going back to your regular life once God has marked you.
I personally believe this wilderness phase is where a lot of the body of Christ is. Just enough Jesus to get salvation, but not enough to make any real change in their life. People are backsliding because the spiritual prices are rising and they didn't have the faith to go all in.
Jesus Christ is the one who sent the famine to refine you into the obedient servant he's always been asking for. Your willingness to obey and level of commitment will grant you the revival you so desperately desire. It's the sacrifice needed to unlock the next level of God's power in your life, but I must warn you! If you give up, you will stay in the wilderness until God's grace expires and moves on to the next person who wants it more than you.
If you feel convicted by this message I am declaring over you that God is extending a hand of mercy to you. If you will make a decision today to start back on the path God has called you to in your life, he will throw the lost time in the lake of forgetfulness and move forward. God is so merciful and loving, we can't devalue it by ignoring his call for another day.
God bless you family in Christ!! Leave a comment if you received!