So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for every Egyptian sold his field, because the famine was severe upon them. Thus the land became Pharaoh’s. As for the people, he removed them to the cities from one end of Egypt’s border to the other. Only the land of the priests he did not buy, for the priests had an allotment from Pharaoh, and they lived off the allotment which Pharaoh gave them. Therefore, they did not sell their land. Then Joseph said to the people, “Behold, I have today bought you and your land for Pharaoh; now, here is seed for you, and you may sow the land. At the harvest you shall give a fifth to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be your own for seed of the field and for your food and for those of your households and as food for your little ones.” So they said, “You have saved our lives! Let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s slaves.” Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt valid to this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth; only the land of the priests did not become Pharaoh’s. Genesis 47:20-26 NASB
I am a guy who advocates for personal freedom and personal responsibility. I tend to reject the idea of the government being a “Nanny” to everyone. Although, I recognize that welfare is a proper role of the state. When Joseph was in the prominent roles that Pharaoh had placed him in, the Egyptians gave up quite a bit to the ‘government’. First, they left their farms and fields in large part and were removed to cities. Some gave up and sold their land. Eventually, they sold themselves. They became wage slaves. Income taxes were set at a flat 20%. Ironically, they felt grateful to Joseph for ‘saving their lives’, and didn’t notice all they had given up in autonomy and land ownership. There is something instructive about all of this that is applicable to us today. I am just trying to discern what it says about human nature. It doesn’t seem right and good, perhaps because only God is worthy of that level of affection and devotion.
What have I discovered about freedom in Christ? How grateful am I that He (Jesus) has saved my soul? What am I willing to ‘give up’ in Your service?
God, as this day begins- on my mind are a number of situations, people, responsibilities and much more. Would You calm me and remind me, that You are the Savior of the World, not I. You alone are worthy of honor and power and glory. Help me teach Your Word today and reach out and love people in Your name.