Between the Gospel of John and the Gospel of Matthew we take a break in the reading of the New Testament and read two Psalms, one chapter of Proverbs and continue with two chapters of Genesis.
January 23: Psalm 3, Psalm 4, Genesis 47, Genesis 48, Proverbs 1 (click on the chapter to begin reading)
Psalm 3 is a Psalm of David from when he fled from his son Absalom.
Psalm 4 is David’s appeal to righteousness, and the blessings that follow.
Genesis 47 tells of how Jacob and his descendants settled in Goshen, about the continuing famine, and how Joseph, controlling the food supply enslaved the people. All power corrupts, and so even Joseph failed in comparison to Jesus, who came to set people free.
Genesis 48 tells of how Jacob blessed Ephraim and Manasseh. He blessed Ephraim ahead of Manasseh, even though Manasseh was the older of Joseph’s sons.
Finally there is Proverbs 1. It extols the virtue of wisdom. Read it and apply it.
Jacob is at this time 130 years old. “My years have been few” is an understatement” but Jacob compares it to the pilgrimage of his grandfather Abraham.
Joseph had been granted absolute power to rule over Egypt. Pharaoh continued to reign over Egypt, so Joseph started to do Pharaoh’s bidding.
But, as we see, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Through taxes on grain produced during the good years, Joseph had amassed all the grain supply for the government. He is now selling it back at a far higher price than he bought the excess harvests over and above the taxed harvests during the good years.
These are the steps to gain total control over the people.
- Establish government monopoly over the food supply.
2. Collect all the money and other valuables in exchange for some of the food.
3. Take control over the livestock and other ways of sustenance.
4. Take over the land in exchange for some of the food.
5. Reduce people to servitude and slavery in exchange for some of the food.
6. Once the famine is over, keep the people as sharecroppers to keep the system stable.