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The number seven appears many times in the Bible, and also many times in our culture, maybe because of all the Biblical references.
Seven years is sometimes seen as the amount of time of legal forgiveness from crimes committed or for forgiving bankruptcy (but may not universally apply now). There’s also the seven year itch, and it has been said that seven years is the amount of time it takes for all one’s cells to be replaced by new cells, so it takes seven years to completely wash nicotine out of an addicted smoker’s body, etc. But this is rumor only, and not medical fact.
But the idea of the importance of the number seven stays with us and the scripture today talks of Joseph’s vision of seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. I heard yesterday someone on the news saying it would take seven years for the world economy to really recover. We’ve had more than seven years of prosperity, so we fear the seven or more years of the economic downturn.
Rather than count of the seven year cycle of plenty and famine, or cicadas and locusts, maybe we need to remember the God who is behind all this. No matter whether we have economic prosperity or recession, we have the same, dependable, always steady God, and with the Psalmist we can pray 6The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, has blessed us. Psalm 67:6 (below).
Pray we remember our time in pray to God. Let the world cycle up and down as it will. God is with us now.
Pray for peace
1May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
2that your way may be known upon earth, your saving power among all nations.
3Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
4Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
5Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
6The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, has blessed us.
7May God continue to bless us; let all the ends of the earth revere him.
14Then Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was hurriedly brought out of the dungeon. When he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh. 15And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not I; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”
17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the banks of the Nile; 18and seven cows, fat and sleek, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass. 19Then seven other cows came up after them, poor, very ugly, and thin. Never had I seen such ugly ones in all the land of Egypt. 20The thin and ugly cows ate up the first seven fat cows, 21but when they had eaten them no one would have known that they had done so, for they were still as ugly as before. Then I awoke. 22I fell asleep a second time and I saw in my dream seven ears of grain, full and good, growing on one stalk, 23and seven ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprouting after them; 24and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears. But when I told it to the magicians, there was no one who could explain it to me.” 25Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s dreams are one and the same; God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one. 27The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, as are the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind. They are seven years of famine. 28It is as I told Pharaoh; God has shown to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29There will come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt. 30After them there will arise seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; the famine will consume the land. 31The plenty will no longer be known in the land because of the famine that will follow, for it will be very grievous. 32And the doubling of Pharaoh’s dream means that the thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it about.
33Now therefore let Pharaoh select a man who is discerning and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34Let Pharaoh proceed to appoint overseers over the land, and take one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven plenteous years. 35Let 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. 36That 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.”
15Then I saw another portent in heaven, great and amazing: seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is ended. 2And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. 3And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb: “Great and amazing are your deeds, Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, King of the nations! 4Lord, who will not fear and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your judgments have been revealed.”
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Joseph Interprets(Gen 41:14-37) (bibleandmylife.wordpress.com)
- Rick Perry Gets It Wrong (simuliustusetpeccator.com)
- Ask for favor(47:1-19 NASB) (bibleandmylife.wordpress.com)
- Result of Famine(Gen 47:20-31) (bibleandmylife.wordpress.com)
- Genesis Chapter 12 (ourfamilybiblestudy.wordpress.com)
- Genesis 47 (asorensen.wordpress.com)
- Joseph is made a ruler of Egypt(Gen 41:38-49) (bibleandmylife.wordpress.com)
- ‘Do not concern yourselves with your goods(Gen 45:8-28) (bibleandmylife.wordpress.com)