25 “Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one. 27 The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind are also seven years of famine. 28 It is as I told Pharaoh; God has shown to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29 There will come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt, 30 but after them there will arise seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will consume the land, 31 and the plenty will be unknown in the land by reason of the famine that will follow, for it will be very severe. 32 And the doubling of Pharaoh’s dream means that the thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it about.” (Genesis 41:25–32 (ESV)
After Pharaoh told Joseph his two dreams (Gen. 41:17-24), Joseph gave the Egyptian king God’s meaning for both dreams. Joseph told Pharaoh the dreams were one. In other words, both dreams had the same meaning. Joseph also told Pharaoh that God had revealed to the king what He, the LORD, was about to do. What Pharaoh dreamed, the LORD would bring to pass.
The providence of God is a recurring theme within the Scriptures. God’s providence is certainly predominant in the life of Joseph (Gen. 50:20). Providence is God’s sovereign activity throughout history in providing for the needs of human beings, especially those who believe in him. Therefore, the universe is not closed to God’s active involvement (Daniel 2:2:20-23; 4:1-3, 34-35; Prov. 16:33; Matt. 5:45; 6:26-34; Acts 17:22-28).
God’s providence is in contrast to the world’s perspectives of fate, luck, serendipity, karma, Marxist propaganda, and the false perception of the sovereign progress of science, technology, education and social evolution.
The Tyndale Bible Dictionary explains, “All through the centuries of human existence there have been those who took great comfort in God’s providential care. God has not left this planet alone in the vast universe or forgotten for a moment the human situation. God visits, touches, communicates, controls, and intervenes, coming before and between people and their needs. Providence is ground for thankfulness.”
Today’s text could not be clearer. God claimed responsibility for the impending seven year famine, or climate change, which was going to providentially occur following seven years of agricultural abundance.
I may not know what your perspective is concerning the current debate over climate change. The biblical perspective is that we live in a fallen world. Sin, and God’s judgment of it, has even impacted the physical universe (Gen.3:17-19; Romans 8:18-24). However, God remains actively in control of all that happens. This includes the weather.
Weather related deaths and destruction are devastating. This sobering truth should remind us that this present world does not afford us our best life now. Even Jesus acknowledged the truth of political and natural disasters (Luke 13:1-5). Jesus also warned that the only ultimate solution to living in a fallen, sinful world was not the accumulation and enjoyment of wealth and comfort or personal peace and affluency, but rather to repent of one’s sin. Otherwise, Jesus said you will perish (Luke 13:3, 5).
God does not mean for us to passively be unprepared for disasters. Prudent measures should be taken to ensure the safety of family, house and home. This is exactly what God had Joseph tell Pharaoh. He told the king the God ordained seven year famine would occur. However, prudent measures could and should be taken to prepare for its occurrence. What was needed was a godly individual to direct such measures. The LORD had such an individual in mind.
Have a blessed day in the LORD. May each of us be secure in the truth and knowledge of the providence of God.
Soli deo Gloria!