Genesis 47:20-21 – Serfdom

Lord Acton in the 1800s famously said, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  This has always been true since man first sinned, and always will be true until the Lord eradicates sin upon the earth.

In the passage in Genesis 47:13-26 that describes Joseph’s work on behalf of Pharaoh in the midst of the 7-year famine we see this principle at work.  After the seven years of plenty that God decreed, Egypt and the entire known world in the Middle East experienced severe famine.  Because of God’s favor upon Joseph, he earned Pharaoh’s trust, and the most powerful man on the earth made Joseph his second in command with power over all people.  Joseph’s authority was only less than that of Pharaoh  himself.

In the course of the famine, acting as Pharaoh’s representative and proxy, Joseph distributed the vast food stores that had been accumulated through the years of plenty to those in need.  At first the people came to Joseph and bought food with the money they had.  But their money ran out.

The people had livestock of many kinds, such as sheep and cattle.  When their money was gone, they exchanged these assets for food.  The famine continued, and the people were desperate.

They came again to Joseph.  Those who were landowners willingly gave that up their land in order to live.  Before long they were hungry once more as the famine lingered.  They surrendered the very last thing of value they had: their bodies – their very lives.  So as to eat, they sold themselves to Pharaoh.  From then on, he owned the people.  The only ones Joseph did not buy for Pharaoh was the priests – the elite representatives for their pagan gods (which, by the way, seem to have failed the Egyptians).  It was only by this very last and hopeless measure that the people found a way to survive.  Genesis 47:20-21 tells us:

“So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for all the Egyptians sold their fields, because the famine was severe on them. The land became Pharaoh’s. As for the people, he made servants of them from one end of Egypt to the other.”

Subsequently, all crops the people grew belonged to Pharaoh, and he required all his subjects to give him 20% of what they grew.  To keep them alive in their indentured servitude, he allowed them to retain the other 80% on which to live.  The priests weren’t subject to this dictate.

All who lived in Egypt had no choice but to live under Pharaoh’s dictates in this way.  The power he wielded was absolute, even to the possessing of the very lives of those who lived in the land.

What happened in Egypt and to the children of Israel was at the hand of God.  He used the absolute and corrupted power of Pharaoh for His own purposes, namely to bring the Hebrew people to a point where they would cry out to Him and He would deliver them.  That which was meant for evil, God brought about for good.

Many strongmen over the years have used this template.  We’ve primarily seen it in practice through communist dictatorships.  Through a series of maneuvers, the people become serfs, wholly owned and under the control of the dictator in power.

In America, adherents to communism have been working for over 90 years to bring this country under the thumb of this ideology.  By infiltrating every area of our society, from schools to seminaries, from media to government, from technology to entertainment, communist ideology has corrupted the minds of all who have been indoctrinated by it.

The Roman Empire died from within through the corruption of its leaders which filtered down to its people.  America is on this same course.

Our country was founded as one nation under God, but we have banished God in all strata of our society and culture.  A nation that honors and worships God earns His favor and blessings.  A nation that turns its back on God earns His wrath and His curses.

The template we see in Genesis with Pharaoh’s absolute power – the power of the State – is playing out here in America.  The corrupting power of those in charge, using the ideology of communism as their god, is leading America to the place of serfdom.  People are being conditioned to rely on the government and what it tells them.  In order to stay alive, they will obey unquestioningly.

There is purpose in this in God’s greater plans.  He is allowing America to come under this servitude in order to fulfill His prophetic Word.  The Bible tells us that in the latter days – the end times – lawlessness and deception will rise to levels beyond our imagination.  This must happen before our very eyes because a progression of events is working.  The stage must be set for the 7-year Tribulation and the strongman of that period: the Antichrist.  The world must be ready for him to appear on the scene, essentially snap his fingers, and for the unbelievers remaining on the earth after the Rapture of the true church to do exactly what he commands.  The technology and all necessary systems for his rule must be in place at that time.

We shouldn’t be surprised that America is going down.  This nation doesn’t appear in Bible prophecy, other than as a possible side note or two.  We cannot be a world power, but simply one of many nations in the global economy as the One World Government takes shape for Antichrist to rule.

The glorious, wondrous Good News is that God has promised His church that we will not experience the worst of this.  Revelation 3:10 assures us:

“Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.”

What is this hour of trial?  The 7-year Tribulation.  God spoke these comforting Words to the church of Philadelphia, the one, true and faithful church.  Those of us who are true and faithful to God through Jesus Christ comprise this church today.

This is why we can rejoice, even in the midst of the gathering darkness.  As Titus 2:13 says, and which we embrace, we are…

“…waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,”

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