A Daily Genesis

Genesis 41:33-36

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 41:33-36 . . Now therefore I suggest Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years.

. . . And have them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up grain under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine.[/B]

A grain czar "wise and discreet" was necessary so that the man appointed wouldn't be tempted to profit from his own country's misfortune like so many of Wall Street's sociopaths are wont to do. Thank God Pharaoh had the cool to realize that what his country faced was not just long lines at the gas pumps, but nothing less than a full blown national emergency.

On the other hand, a central bureaucracy could easily lead to despotism, red tape, favoritism, cronyism, nepotism, corruption, payoffs, bribes, artificial shortages, black marketing, and political manipulation; especially if all the available food supplies were in the hands of self-serving corporations like ENRON, Monsanto, Bechtel, and Nestlé.

The success of Joseph's plan relied heavily upon the integrity of its administrator. The right man would be a savior; the wrong man could become a tyrant; and if the top man was a crook, everybody under him could be expected to be crooked too, and instead of a program intended to help the poor, it would only serve as a golden opportunity to line the pockets of officials like Indian Agents of the old west who embezzled Native Americans out of thousands of dollars worth of food, tools, livestock, implements, shelter, and clothing.

It's been shown by historians that tithing was practiced in ancient Egypt and other nations, as a form of taxes or tribute to the king; but a 20 percent levy would be very unusual, and might well be resisted, especially if enacted by an unpopular sovereign. Thus, the chief administrator of Joseph's plan would have to be skilled in diplomacy and persuasion: a veritable expert on how to win friends and influence people.

Actually, the 20 percent wasn't a hardship. Egypt's agricultural production was so good that no doubt at least 20 percent went to waste anyway even after all the people were satisfied and Egypt's export commitments were fulfilled. (Here in the USA, we waste upwards of 40% of our annual purchases of food)

Some citizens might gripe at first, but it's hard to feel deprived when things are going good. The seven years of plenty would be a time of bumper crops and overabundance; and heck, you could give the children's food to the dogs and not hurt them. The only real malcontents in Egypt would be people who are never happy about anything anyway.

Americans themselves have so much left over that there's enough perfectly good food thrown out in the dumpsters behind super markets and fast food chains like Wendy's, Carl's Jr, Subway, McDonalds. Arby's, Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Burger King to easily feed every homeless person in the USA three meals a day. And that's not even counting all the other restaurants and food courts that are tossing out literally tons of edible garbage every hour of the business day.

Although someone might get the wrong impression, there was really no indication in Joseph's presentation that he was throwing his hat in the ring. Such a thought could hardly have crossed his sheep-herder's mind. The last thing Joseph wanted was a long-term commitment to Federal employment in a foreign country when the only thing on his mind was getting back home to his dad in Hebron.

Joseph was not only an alien, but a slave; and a jailbird accused of rape. He had never held a political office of any kind whatsoever. His only experience in business management was the oversight of Potiphar's household affairs; nor had he any experience in either running or participating in a bureaucracy of the magnitude of which he spoke.

But there are people like Joseph who have a God-given natural aptitude in certain areas. The don't need training and they don't need experience. They're like some combat platoon sergeants who, when you throw them into the mouths of canons, don't panic and don't get flustered. They perform like they've been doing that sort of thing all their lives.

Joseph probably wasn't aware that he had a God-given knack for running a big show like a national food bank. But God was, and that's exactly why He's going to persuade those big shots to put His own man in charge because the very survival of the people of Israel heavily depends upon an effective contingency to meet those inevitable seven years of famine; and even after the famine ended, there would still yet be a time of recovery before Egypt got back up to speed.

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Updated 05-06-2016 at 11:19 PM by WebersHome

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