Comfort Food

“Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years…And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine.” – Genesis 41:34,36

“And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.” – Psalm 77:10-12

“Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction. I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me.” – Psalm 119:92-93

Scripture Reading: Genesis 41:14-57

house on a rockToday, my thoughts are with a distant but dear friend of mine who recently suffered an unimaginable loss. When I first heard that this bright and beautiful young woman had lost her baby girl in a tragic accident, I was sick to my stomach with grief for her. I can’t even fathom where this loss will take her – the dark days and the oceans of tears that lie ahead. But one thing gives me hope – I know this girl, and I know that she has spent her lifetime storing up faith to get her through this famine. And I want to encourage you do to do the same.

In Genesis 41, Joseph has finally been remembered, and his prison stint is about to end. Pharaoh has had a dream, and now he needs answers. Of course, the court magicians are useless (Genesis 41:7-8), but Pharaoh’s dilemma reminds his cupbearer of his own prison stint not long ago. He immediately refers Joseph (Verses 9-13), who immediately refers Pharaoh to the One True God (Verse 16). By God’s grace, Joseph not only provides the interpretation of the dream, but the intervention required to survive the famine to come.

The first seven years will be fantastic, with plenty of food for all. The next seven years will be famine – famine so severe that it will wipe out every last memory of the good years. The solution: it’s all about saving and storing. Use the time of plenty to prepare for the time of poverty. It makes perfect sense, and Joseph is the perfect man for the job. Pharaoh appoints him and Joseph goes to work, setting aside 20% of the harvest in storage for the lean years (Verse 34).

Joseph’s little savings plan is a complete game-changer. The famine still comes with seven years of little to no harvest, but Egypt is ready for it. They sustain their own with the stored-up crops and even serve as a food pantry for the entire region (Genesis 42:1-2), eventually providing food for Joseph’s own long-lost family (Genesis 45:4-6, 50:20).

We talk about saving for a rainy day. We put money in savings accounts and 401k’s. We buy insurance, and when the local weather man scares us enough, we run out to pick up bread and milk and bottled water, and maybe even a generator. But let me tell you, it is every bit as important – no, far more important – that you prep for a famine of faith (Psalm 59:16, 124, Ephesians 5:15-17).

Jesus Himself reinforced this concept in the parable of the wise man and the foolish man (Matthew 7:24-27). His imagery really hits home – “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house…” A crisis of faith is like that. Something terrible happens, maybe a whole series of terrible things happen, but the effect is the same. You feel beaten down. You feel hit from all sides. And the storm clouds can block your view of God’s hand in your life. And that’s why you need a house built on the Rock, and a storehouse of faith – the scriptures you’ve read (Psalm 1:1-3, 119:11), the prayers you’ve prayed (Psalm 34:4, 142:5), the blessings you count (Lamentations 3:20-23) and the friends you’ve made (Proverbs 17:17). Those are the things that will sustain you until the clouds start to break up and God’s presence shines brightly in your storm.

Today, I don’t have answers. I can’t begin to unravel the mysteries of God’s sovereign plan. Storms will beat on us and famines will starve our faith, but God’s promises and God’s goodness will outlast them all. If today is a day of peace and plenty for you, then take the time to fill up on the comfort food of God’s Word. Store it up for a rainy day, a dry day, and everything in between.


Spend some time filling your storehouse. Seek to spend a little more time in the Word and a little more time in prayer. The more time you spend with God in the sunshine, the easier it will be to find Him in the storm.

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