A Meditation: On Genesis 47:13-26 // Love In The Extreme Sense //

by Matheus Yuhlung

“Now there was no food in all the land, for the famine was very severe, so that the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished by reason of the famine. And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, in exchange for the grain that they bought. And Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s house. And when the money was all spent in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? For our money is gone.” And Joseph answered, “Give your livestock, and I will give you food in exchange for your livestock, if your money is gone.” So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them food in exchange for the horses, the flocks, the herds, and the donkeys. He supplied them with food in exchange for all their livestock that year. And when that year was ended, they came to him the following year and said to him, “We will not hide from my lord that our money is all spent. The herds of livestock are my lord’s. There is nothing left in the sight of my lord but our bodies and our land. Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for food, and we with our land will be servants to Pharaoh. And give us seed that we may live and not die, and that the land may not be desolate.” 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. Only the land of the priests he did not buy, for the priests had a fixed allowance from Pharaoh and lived on the allowance that Pharaoh gave them; therefore they did not sell their land. Then Joseph said to the people, “Behold, I have this day bought you and your land for Pharaoh. Now here is seed for you, and you shall sow the land. And at the harvests you shall give a fifth to Pharaoh, and four fifths shall be your own, as seed for the field and as food for yourselves and your households, and as food for your little ones.” And they said, “You have saved our lives; may it please my lord, we will be servants to Pharaoh.” So Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt, and it stands to this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth; the land of the priests alone did not become Pharaoh’s” – Genesis 47:13-26

Growing up in a pagan society (and when I say pagan, I literally mean it – as India is still one of the places where ancient superstitious rituals are still being practiced not only in villages but in urban areas as well) I’m not unaware of the time and money that these people devote in keeping up with their idols. They won’t hesitate to wake up early in the morning – bath, burn incense or pour water to a plant and when the sun is up they’d go out and pour water to the sun as well even in the busiest of the so – called urban cities.

Amidst the crowd one can also find people who won’t even think twice to draw cow’s urine on their hands if they spot one urinating and drink it a bit and pour some on their head. And if you’ve found yourself in a most posh urban landscape you’d still find a tree decorated as a temple in one or another nook. Like these were not enough; in selected temples you’d also find people feeding monkeys and rats. And on festival nights like diwali they won’t hesitate to burn up crackers worth lakhs of rupees.

Sometimes I wonder if this is the attitude of people who worship their own imaginations; how much more we ought to do who worship the one true living God? In the verses quoted above; we see how the Egyptians were unhesitant to give off their money, livestock and even their lands and their lives to safe themselves from the plague; how much more ought you and I do whom Christ had died on our behalf to save us from the deadliest of plague of all called the wages of sin?

Are you still hesitating to wake up early and spend the most pleasant of times with the Lord? Are you hesitation to share that gospel with a friend? Are you hesitating to put that cheque for tithes or thanksgiving? Are you hesitating to extend a helping hand to the needy? Are you hesitating to open the Bible or close your eyes to commune with the one who is desperate to hear your voice?

Dear Brethren, we have nothing left to do like our pagan brothers and sisters are running about as all that was needed has already been fulfilled by God’s only begotten son. Then shouldn’t we learn to love more – give more – share more to the expression of the most extreme sense as Christ demonstrated His love for us on the cross? Let us learn to live more for the glory of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and hold none back.