I was thinking about the story of Joseph in Egypt and how God used him to saved untold millions of lives because of good preparation for a coming famine in the land. As I pondered the story, I began to realize that there are parallels to the seven-year tribulation, and the seven years prior to it; years that we very likely have just lived through. I should like to expound on this thought a bit, but first, let’s read the text. We’ll pick up the story in Genesis 41 where Pharaoh is calling for Joseph to come and interpret his dream.
“Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; and he shaved, changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh. 15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream, to interpret it.” 16 So Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.” 17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph: “Behold, in my dream I stood on the bank of the river. 18 Suddenly seven cows came up out of the river, fine looking and fat; and they fed in the meadow. 19 Then behold, seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and gaunt, such ugliness as I have never seen in all the land of Egypt. 20 And the gaunt and ugly cows ate up the first seven, the fat cows. 21 When they had eaten them up, no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were just as ugly as at the beginning. So I awoke. 22 Also I saw in my dream, and suddenly seven heads (of grain) came up on one stalk, full and good. 23 Then behold, seven heads, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprang up after them. 24 And the thin heads devoured the seven good heads. So I told this to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.” 25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do: 26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads (of grain) are seven years; the dreams are one. 27 And the seven thin and ugly cows which came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty heads blighted by the east wind are seven years of famine. 28 This is the thing which I have spoken to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29 Indeed seven years of great plenty will come throughout all the land of Egypt; 30 but after them seven years of famine will arise, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine will deplete the land. 31 So the plenty will not be known in the land because of the famine following, for it will be very severe. 32 And the dream was repeated to Pharaoh twice because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass. 33 “Now therefore, let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers (overseers) over the land, to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years. 35 And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. 36 Then that food shall be as a reserve (supply) for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish (cut off) during the famine.”
– Genesis 41:14-36
When I see seven bad years I associate that with the seven-year tribulation. Before the seven bad years came, there were seven good years. If the tribulation begins this fall, then the past seven years would be represented as good years. To make this more plain, subtract 7 from 2022 and you get 2015, more specifically, Rosh Hashanah 2015. Can you remember what you were doing back then? What was your walk with the Lord like then as compared to now? How have you grown in your faith? Are you a stronger believer today than in 2015?
Joseph challenged the people to store up one-fifth of the produce that was farmed during the good years and store them in large grain shelters; this is like a double tithe. Many believers tithe, many more give to missions and other parachurch ministries that more than make up another tenth of their income. There are a lot of 20 percenters out there who have been blessed of the Lord for being so and doing so. More than that, we have to ask ourselves, how has our witness of the Lord been over the past seven years? Have we preached the gospel? Have we done the gospel? Have we served the Lord faithfully by obeying His voice and doing His bidding? This is part of the storing up in those proverbial granaries that Jesus spoke of.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19.20
- We don’t serve the Lord for the goodies that He gives us in the end. We serve Him because of our love for Him and our desire to be obedient to Him and His Word; especially as it relates to our witness.
Me thinks that the past seven years have been good years. We had a good president for four of those years and benefited from the results of that leadership. We had some significant advances in our economy and the economies of the world, comparably speaking. We saw no wars break out where certain nations were invading other nations and creating havoc in their lands at the level and death that we are now seeing in the Ukraine. This is mainly due to the consequence factor of a strong leader who was willing to be a vanguard for the world.
The last seven years have been good years for me and my family. We have made significant strides and advances in our ministry, church life, personal spiritual life formation, family life, and much more. While nothing is perfect, it has been a good ride. We resigned our church, moved a new state, reinvest properties, sold and purchased a home, and have welcomed new babies into the family. Now we are looking forward to what comes next and I think that if this theory is correct, we should be looking at the beginning of the seven bad years this fall. If this is correct, than we should be looking for a Rapture before then. While it’s true that nobody knows the day or the hour, it’s equally true that Jesus said that we would know when the Lord is near, even at the very door. While we look long term down the road, the short term signs are very prevalent.
Paul warned the terminal generation (that’s us),
“But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled). 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 11 Therefore comfort (encourage) each other and edify (build up) one another, just as you also are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
- The ‘they’ in this passage are those who are not saved. The ‘you’ in this passage are those who are saved and walking right with the Lord. Paul says, ‘they shall not escape’ meaning raptured. This means that you will escape. The Rapture is an escape from the coming seven-year tribulation; it will happen first because ‘God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through Jesus.’
We are called to watch and be sober (self-controlled), which is also a fruit of the Holy Spirit. We are people of the day and we work and serve the Lord in the day because when the night comes, nobody can work. The night is the coming seven-year tribulation. While there will be untold millions of people getting saved during the tribulation, the church will not be the one orchestrating those salvations; it will be the work of the Holy Spirit within the trib-saints and whatever resources the Church has left behind. The same way many people were saved as a result of Joseph’s food storage initiative during the seven bad years of the Egyptian famine, so will many people be saved as a result of the planting of the gospel message into the hearts of those left behind, before the Rapture, that will bring them to salvation during the seven-year tribulation. It’s a simple theory with an even simpler formula; get saved today because later will be much worse. Today is the day of salvation!
Encouragemen is a blog written by Pastor Rob Lee, recently relocated to Northwest Missouri. He lives with his wife of 32-years, near their three adult children, their spouses, and children (their grandchildren). Pastor Rob is an Ordained Assemblies of God minister, a former Lead Pastor (25 years), police chaplain, and community advocate. He continues to serve, consult, and disciple men of God, including those who are in the ministry.
One thought on “14 Years of Fate”
Very insightful, I always enjoy reading your blog!
Side Note: This one was the perfect length.