Pharaoh & Obama

Religion & PoliticsTypically I don’t send out “forwards” nor do I read them very often, in fact 99.9% of them go directly into my recycle bin unopened. The following is an exception to that rule. In fact this post is bending two rules that I usually follow. The first I just mentioned. The other is that I don’t typically post anything of a “political” nature on the “refiners fire” site. But after having read this post, sent to me by a friend, I felt it was too timely not to share with everyone.

The post is as follows…

I would love to give the Minister of this predominantly black church in Virginia a hug and a high five. This guy is obviously a leader and not one of the sheep. Perhaps we should each decide who our real leader is………….  It is amazing to see that very little has changed in 4,000 years.
RECENT VIRGINIA CHURCH SERVICE -STIMULUS SERMON … Gen 47:13-27

Good morning, brothers and sisters; it’s always a delight to see the pews crowded on Sunday morning, and so eager to get into God’s Word.  Turn with me in your Bibles, if you will to the 47th chapter of Genesis, we’ll begin our reading at verse 13, and go through verse 27.

Brother Ray, would you stand and read that great passage for us? ….(reading)…

Thank you for that fine reading, Brother Ray…  So we see that economic hard times fell upon Egypt, and the people turned to the government of Pharaoh to deal with this for them.  And Pharaoh nationalized the grain harvest, and placed the grain in great storehouses that he had built.  So the people brought their money to Pharaoh, like a great tax increase, and gave it all to him willingly in return for grain. And this went on until their money ran out, and they were hungry again.

So when they went to Pharaoh after that, they brought their livestock -their cattle, their horses, their sheep, and their donkey – to barter for grain, and verse 17 says that only took them through the end of that year..

 But the famine wasn’t over, was it?  So the next year, the people came before Pharaoh and admitted they had nothing left, except their land and their own lives.  “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.”  So they surrendered their homes, their land, and their real estate to Pharaoh’s government, and then sold themselves into slavery to him, in return for grain. What can we learn from this, brothers and sisters?

That turning to the government instead of to God to be our provider in hard times only leads to slavery?   Yes.  That the only reason government wants to be our provider is to also become our master?  Yes.

But look how that passage ends, brothers and sisters!   Thus Israel settled in the land of Egypt , in the land of Goshen .  And they gained possessions in it, and were fruitful and multiplied greatly.”  God provided for His people, just as always has!  They didn’t end up giving all their possessions to government, no, it says they gained possessions!
But I also tell you a great truth today, and an ominous one.  We see the same thing happening today – the government today wants to “share the wealth “once again, to take it from us and redistribute it back to us.  It wants to take control of healthcare, just as it has taken control of education, and ration it back to us, and when government rations it, then government decides who gets it, and how much, and what kind. And if we go along with it, and do it willingly, then we will wind up no differently than the people of Egypt did four thousand years ago – as slaves to the government, and as slaves to our leaders.

What Mr. Obama’s government is doing now is no different from what Pharaoh’s government did then, and it will end the same.  And a lot of people like to call Mr. Obama a “Messiah,” don’t they?  Is he a Messiah? A savior? Didn’t the Egyptians say, after Pharaoh made them his slaves, “You have saved our lives; may it please my lord, we will be servants to Pharaoh”?

Well, I tell you this – I  know the Messiah; the Messiah is a friend of mine; and Mr. Obama is no Messiah!  No, brothers and sisters, if Mr. Obama is a character from the Bible, then he is Pharaoh.

Bow with me in prayer, if you will.

Lord, You alone are worthy to be served, and we rely on You, and You alone.  We confess that the government is not our deliverer, and never rightly will be.  We read in the eighth chapter of 1 Samuel, when Samuel warned the people of what a ruler would do, where it says “And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.”  And Lord, we acknowledge that day has come.  We cry out to you because of the ruler that we have chosen for ourselves as a nation.  Lord, we pray for this nation.  We pray for revival, and we pray for deliverance from those who would be our masters.  Give us hearts to seek You and hands to serve You, and protect Your people from the atrocities of Pharaoh’s government. In God We Trust…   

One concluding thought…

“Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it”

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About Jim

I'm currently the Communications Director for Missouri Operation for Vigorous Evangelism [MOVE] A Church planting ministry located in Jefferson City, MO. I believe that the church is the primary means through which God works in a community to love and redeem it. Here at MOVE we’re discovering new ways to be used for this purpose as God leads us and lights His path for us. As God forms this organization and shapes it for a new kind of world I want to be right in the middle of what He’s doing, traveling on this road of a disciple’s journey.

2 responses to “Pharaoh & Obama”

  1. Trent says :

    The sermon is timely – but it should have made into your recycle bin also. The pastor speaks words that many might like to hear, but it isn’t rooted in very good theology.

    This text is widely interpreted by commentators as speaking to our absolute need for God’s providence. Unfortunately – it is in moments of abundance that our perceived need for God diminishes. In times of crisis – the people of Egypt finally realize that silver and gold will not feed them – they must have corn. In response – they part with their property and even their liberty for the saving of their lives. It is only in letting go of their dependancy on earthly possessions that they finally reach the point of real freedom from a slavery of their own making.

    The pastor from Virginia suggests that the Egyptians undoing came by relinquishing their possessions to Pharaoh – or in a modern sense – the government. He writes, ‘turning to the government instead of to God to be our provider in hard times only leads to slavery.’ He suggests the people’s actions were leading them into slavery. Most commentaries – however – seem to agree that the people were already enslaved. In fact, their undoing was not at the hands of Pharaoh (the government) – but rather an unrealistic reliance on themselves. It was only in having it all taken away – that the people are finally brought back into a right relationship and a proper dependency on the grace and goodness of God.
    I’m assuming you have theological training yourself. Therefore, I recommend reading Walter Brueggemann’s article ‘The Liturgy of Abundance, The Myth of Scarcity.’ He too deals with the current situation, connecting it to this and other texts. The difference, his article is rooted in solid exegesis.

    • Jim says :

      I always appreciate comments and thoughts concerning my posts so thanks for your comments. As per your recommendation I did go and read Walter Brueggemann’s article “The Liturgy of Abundance, The Myth of Scarcity” and I must say it reads like classic Brueggemann, he has many interesting insights but as for being “solid exegesis” this article clearly is not, however it’s what I’ve come to expect from Brueggemann, who openly denies the inspiration of Scripture, even going so far as to define the Word of God as “a memory of an imagined past..” If one denies the inspiration of scripture, anything of an exegetical nature presented by that individual is by default questionable. In his article Brueggemann makes several statements that from my understanding of Scripture are exegetically suspect, but the one that was the most obvious to me was this statement…

      “Finally’ he becomes so exasperated by his inability to control the people of Israel that he calls Moses and Aaron to come to him. Pharaoh tells them, “Take your people and leave.”

      Now I find nowhere in scripture anything about Pharaoh kicking the Israelites out of Egypt because he couldn’t control them… It was his inability to contend with the dictates of almighty God, and the results of his disobedience (the death of the firstborn, from which no house was spared) that caused him to free the Children of Israel.

      Now I believe that if we are going to look at the Genesis 47 passage from a strictly exegetical standpoint we see that Joseph’s administrative policy during the time of famine was twofold. These verses first and foremost justify the necessity of the Israelite migration to Egypt by depicting the severity of the famine and secondly to point out the contrast between the enslavement of the people of Egypt and the comparative prosperity of the Israelites. While the Egyptians were losing their lands, the Israelites acquired property through the land grant of Pharaoh, thus leading to the exponential increase in numbers of the decedents of Jacob.
      If you have any other insights on this matter I would enjoy hearing them… all are free to share and I very much enjoy dialogue on theological matters.

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