Let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming, and lay up grain under the authority of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to befall the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine. Genesis 41:35-36.
Joseph, sold by siblings in that early record of human trafficking, becomes the voice like the one in the Simon and Garfunkel song, "Sounds of Silence."
"The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls, and tenement halls..."
That's happened more than once in history. But you can have prophetic writings all over the place to no avail if the decision makers of society never go out to read them, never ponder them in their hearts.
Pharaoh had dreams. Joseph, the foreignor of the slave-worker class, had the key. "Seven fat years," Joseph told Pharaoh, "and then seven lean ones after that." Pharaoh built a safety net. At God's direction.
How about that? World superpower, construction giant. Inventors of paper and beer, metal smelters, irrigators, sculptors, artists, scholars, historians, medical rearchers and surgeons... That's who the Egyptians were. Their legacy is still world-renowned.
But God doesn't set them up for extinction by giving them seven fat years so that they over-build, over-spend and over-consume, only to die off when they are totally unprepared for the seven years of famine. God gives them the safety net through Pharaoh's dreams and Joseph's interpretation.
Pagan privilege or wisdom of the ages?
Mitt Romney says he's not concerned about the very poor because they have "the safety net." If it's in need of repair, he'll fix it. So he says.
If he becomes president of these Divided/United States of America (read 99:1), I intend to nail his unsoiled lapels to the wall holding him accountable.
"The" safety net. Boy, I'd give my last dollar to have him define that for me. "The" safety net is a monolithic, universal, one-size-fits-all glove that absolutely fixes everything for everybody in need?
Probably how he sees it from his perch. Goes around in $100 ironed blue jeans, pressed shirts and manicured hair trying to look like one of the rest of us. Sure.
Complains about needed defense budget cuts and troop reductions (gotta rein in that gov't spending, right?)... Wants to add 100,000 to the numbers of troops in uniform. Says nothing about dollars. Sure. Maybe he'll pay them out of interest earnings from his blind trusts and offshore accounts. Sure.
Just witnessed over a decade of war on two fronts, 85K American troops still in Afghanistan, complains about government spending without talking about how to finance wars, yet has five healthy sons, not ONE of whom has spent a single day in uniform in service of this country.
Yet there are thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines and their families who have seen two, three, four, five or more deployments. One deployment for every one of his kids...
Nice that these military familes without jobs have "the" safety net. Nice that he and his family have had these underlings to serve as the Romney family's safety net in a decade of having our nation at war on two fronts.
It ain't too late for any of 'em to enlist. The election doesn't happen for nine months yet.
I must confess disillusionment. For years, I've heard it again and again and again. All the business of wasteful spending on poor people. Wasteful spending on mental health services, treatment for addictions, housing, infrastructure that would help people without cars get to jobs--if they existed, wasteful spending on schools and such frills as arts and music, as if man could live by math and science alone. All the ways we cut off the hands and fingers of God... I've heard it. And I get it.
There are people who believe that every last dollar ever spent by government is a wasted dollar and that the way to fix any safety net is to so thoroughly cut holes in it that anything in the net falls completely through it and into the abyss.
Then, to use the succinct description of H. Ross Perot, "problem solved!"
COMMENT: H. Ross Perot would never advocate what I've just said; but many talking heads today would. And do. And in all fairness to them, I actually believe that Mitt Romney really is a moderate by comparison.
I suspect that wealth can blind us, though. I don't know for sure because I'm not wealthy. And God knows, I never will be. So I don't know. Just living out my own prejudices, I guess.
But this much I do know. If Pharaoh ran on the platform of a seven year safety net that included the people of Matthew 25:40, I'd vote for that dude. In a heartbeat.
He'd be my dreamboat.
Seven years of holidays, and all I see is the sea...
Father, give us leaders who can really see.
Father, give us leaders who haven't spent their whole lives in prosperity.
Father, rasie up for us prophets like Joseph and Jesus.
And, Father, give us leaders who can walk a cubit in Pharaoh's sandalprints. Amen.