Being ready, Colossians 4, Ephesians 5, famine, Food scarcity, in season and out of season, Joseph and Pharaoh's dream, preaching the Gospel, redeeming the time, Storing up food like Joseph, the fields are white unto harvest
There is much talk of food scarcity these days. They call it “food scarcity” to be more palatable for western people who are not used to famine. But, essentially, it is famine that is coming, and along with it is an economic collapse and an overwhelming realization of their loss of liberties.
As Christians we all likely have read by now the story of Joseph near the end of the book of Genesis. After enduring the rejection of and betrayal of his brothers, slavery, a false accusation that lands him in prison for years, and a prison-mate who upon being released initially forgot how much Joseph had helped him. Then, Pharaoh had a dream, and the prison-mate remembers Joseph’s interpretation and fulfillment of his own dream. Thus, Pharaoh called for Joseph to interpret his own disturbing dream of the fat cows and emaciated cows, the full, beautiful ears of corn and the dry, inedible ears of corn. And Joseph explained to Pharaoh that both of his dreams were one and the same, and was doubled because God was certainly and very shortly going to bring it to pass. It was then that Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of the whole land of Egypt and Pharaoh’s household as well, and Joseph had all the excess, abundance of grain stored up in every city for seven years. At the end of those seven years of abundance, everyone becomes overwhelmed by great loss and hunger, not just in Egypt but also the surrounding areas. And God used the dream of Pharaoh and the interpretation of Joseph in order to supply in time of great need.
It has been said by many Christians that we as Christians are to be storing up food for our families and to share with others. But no where in the gospels did Jesus ever say that “when you see everything coming to pass store up food to share.” No where in the gospels did Jesus say, “you all are to be like Joseph storing up food in that final generation.” Not even the Apostle Paul said this, nor John, nor Peter, nor James or Jude. Instead Jesus said to lay up treasure in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21), and to trust Him for our daily bread (Matthew 6:11 and Luke 11:3). After all, man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4).
What is clear from Scripture is that a time was coming and is here of a famine of the word of the Lord. “Behold the days are come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11). It is clear from Scripture that we are to be ready in season and out of season to share the hope that we have in Christ (2 Timothy 4:2). This means, that on good days and bad days, perfect moments and imperfect moments when we feel sick or down or overwhelmed or are grieving a loss that we are to be ready to give an answer of hope to those who have none. And we are to be redeeming the time for the days are evil. This redeeming of the time carries with it the concept of “seizing the day” or seizing the moment and not letting it pass us by. It is a merchant’s metaphor used here for merchants would “diligently observe the time for buying and selling, and easily part with their pleasure for gain” (Matthew Poole’s Commentary, https://biblehub.com/commentaries/ephesians/5-16.htm). Even so, we as Christians are to “5Act wisely toward outsiders, redeeming the time. 6Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4). Again, redeeming the time means to grasp the moment you are given for a productive purpose of presenting the Gospel of hope.
And indeed, incredibly dark, cold, and hard times are coming upon America, the likes of which Americans have not known, times of scarcity and lack, times of discomfort and want, overwhelming times of great palpable evil. But, God has called His Church, His Body, His Bride to be lights, to extend hope and to be aware that the greatest needs will not be physical nor even emotional, but spiritual. For the greatest lack is of spiritual bread, spiritual water, spiritual clothing, spiritual bank accounts in the heavens.
You see, if we are to be like Joseph at all then we are to be the spiritual Josephs of this generation. And in the famine that is coming, and when disasters hit, we are to open up those spiritual storehouses of Biblical grain to nourish and point them to Jesus. They may thirst, but their greatest thirst is for the Living Water (John 4 and John 7). They may think they only hunger physically, but they are hungry for the Bread of Life (John 6). They may think they are only upset because they want new clothes, but really they need the Robes of Righteousness to clothe their spiritual nakedness (Isaiah 61:10, Revelation 3:17-19). They may be intent upon their loss of finances or their home or their cars or other worldly goods, but they are clueless as to their great need to buy of God gold refined in the fire. Indeed, even earthy Christians who are so tied to this world will need to be reminded of this like the church of Laodicea in Revelation 3.
Be ready Christian. Be ready. Having gone through your own trials like Joseph, be ready to give an answer. Be ready with the Word of Life. Be ready with the rivers of living water bubbling up from deep inside you. Having faced the lion and the bear like David, be ready now for Goliath. Take up those 5 smooth stones and run out to take on the giant. Sink that stone into his forehead and then take up his own sword and chop off his head. Get up oh Christian for the days are upon us wherein people are desperate for the word of hope that we have, for the treasures of salvation that we have, for the hope of eternity that we have! Forget about your comforts or discomforts. Forget about your comfort zone. Let go of your past whether good or bad, let go of all inadequacies and rise up, for the time is now! Is not His grace sufficient for you? Is not His strength made perfect in our weakness?
The field is white unto harvest, the storm clouds are brewing, the sun is setting, and Jesus is coming soon to take up His Bride and then pour out His wrath upon the earth. Wake up! Get up! Rise up! All that you’ve memorized in Scripture, all that you’ve learned from the Bible, all that you’ve believed even through your own tribulations, good times and bad, all that you’ve stored up in your knowledge bank, it is time to share it, to extend it, to offer it to this generation of darkness that is desperately in need. Be bold! Be courageous for the Lord our God is with you!
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. 2For behold, darkness covers the earth, and thick darkness is over the peoples; but the LORD will rise upon you, and His glory will appear over you.3Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” (Isaiah 60)
Jesus is coming soon! Let’s be ready!
Redeeming the time,
Holy Light Ministries