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Jacob said to his kinsmen, “Gather stones.” So they took stones and made a pile, and they ate there on the pile. — Genesis 41:36

Preparing for Disasters, if Possible

No one could interpret Pharaoh’s dream—except Joseph, through the help of God. The dream had to do, of course, with the seven fat cows and seven lean cows, which represented, Joseph was informed, seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. Joseph advised Pharaoh to store up a fifth of the goods, the food, and the corn of the land during the seven good years for the time of the bad years. Pharaoh appointed Joseph over all of this work, and great granaries and storage places were built.

When the seven good years ended, the land of Egypt was bursting with plenty, and they were able to feed not only their own, but also even strangers who came. Those strangers included the family of Joseph, who came to Egypt because of the starvation in Israel. When Joseph revealed himself to them, saying, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into Egypt,” they were aghast. They were shocked beyond measure. They knew that surely their lives were forfeited because they were now in the hands of the most powerful man in Egypt. But Joseph said these remarkable words: “But as for you, you intended to harm me, but God intended it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many lives” (Genesis 50:20).

A prudent man foresees trouble and hides himself, prepares himself for it. The foolish go right on and are punished, the Bible says in Proverbs 22:3. The Bible teaches us that we should prepare in advance for disaster. We see here the wisdom of investing in insurance within reason and of financially planning ahead, investing for retirement, and saving for a rainy day. We can then bless others by sharing with them as well. Plan ahead, and leave your plans in God’s hands.