Sunday, November 20, 2011

How do you prepare for a famine? 飢餓に対してあなたはどのように対応しますか?

     For the past few weeks we have been looking at the progress of God’s revelation to His creation.  We have seen His footprints in the Bible sand. We have seen Him promise a People who will follow Him. A promise of a land that these people would live in.  And we have seen such a family struggle with all this as they rise and fall in their humanness.  We have seen a father almost kill his only son on a hillside. We have read before that about a flood that would kill all but one family. Even before that, there was a brother who would feel such hatred that he would kill his only brother in a fit of rage.  And we have been looking at the life and times in the man Joseph.
     This is the family God selected.  Not shinning examples of greatness by any standard.  Jealously, mistrust, murder, lust, stealing… Sounds like the goings on of people in the Yakuza!  But yet, we can also see that it is God who is working under the surface, bringing people to a place in their walk of Life when they look up and see that He is God.
     Today, we will continue as we start off reminding us what had already happened to this young man, Joseph.  He was born to an old man. His other brothers began to hate him.  They felt deep jealously toward him as the father shows favoritism toward him.  This almost gets him killed but he is sold into slavery instead.  The brothers go back to the father and lie about what happened to Joseph and the father is heart broken.  The brothers do not break silence but kept the lie alive.
     Joseph was sold to a man who was in charge of the State Penitentiary.  Joseph excels in this new role and is elevated to second in power in the household.  The man’s wife seduces Joseph. Joseph refuses and is thrown into, most likely, the same Penitentiary his boss ran.  Here, too, he is lifted up and after longer than two years, gets a break and interprets the Pharaoh’s difficult dream and becomes Prime Minister of Egypt.
A rags to riches story like none other! ぼろから裕福への物語
     The dream the Pharaoh had was really weird.  Seven scrawny cows eat seven fat cows and seven sickly heads of grain eat up seven good heads of grain.  But for a country that was agricultural, it makes a lot of sense.  For seven years, the land would bring forth a GREAT harvest.  Year one and two—huge harvest.  Year three-five, same thing.  Year six and seven, the same.  But on the 8th year, the harvest failed.  And for a total of seven more years, the whole area – all over the known world – there is a great famine. What to do?  41:41.  Pharaoh said, “I have put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” 
     Joseph was 30 years of age when he started as Prime Minister of Egypt. He was 17 when he came to Egypt as a slave and now, 13 years later, he is #2 of the land.  Not bad.
     And he got there because God was in the famine. God sent a famine into the world to teach Joseph and everyone else who wanted to learn from it, just HOW to prepare for a famine.  And OH, my, what a famine we have today!
     People are dying all over the world because of the lack of food or water.  You don’t have to look too far—to North Korea, and you will see famine of historic proportions.

     Speaking of deaths, just last week, I got the report that Larry LaPrise, from Scotland, died.  He wrote “The Hokey Pokey” (and turn yourself around…).  He died peacefully at the great age of 93.  The most traumatic part for his family was getting him into the coffin.  They put his left leg in…and then the trouble started! That’s what it is all about!

     Read with me, starting from verse 46-49.   
 ヨセフは、エジプトの王ファラオの前に立ったとき三十歳であった。ヨセフはファラオの前をたって、エジプト全国を巡回した。 豊作の七年の間、大地は豊かな実りに満ち溢れた。 ヨセフはその七年の間に、エジプトの国中の食糧をできるかぎり集め、その食糧を町々に蓄えさせた。町の周囲の畑にできた食糧を、その町の中に蓄えさせたのである。 ヨセフは、海辺の砂ほども多くの穀物を蓄え、ついに量りきれなくなったので、量るのをやめた。
Now, 53-57.
ヨセフは、エジプトの王ファラオの前に立ったとき三十歳であった。ヨセフはファラオの前をたって、エジプト全国を巡回した。 豊作の七年の間、大地は豊かな実りに満ち溢れた。 ヨセフはその七年の間に、エジプトの国中の食糧をできるかぎり集め、その食糧を町々に蓄えさせた。町の周囲の畑にできた食糧を、その町の中に蓄えさせたのである。 ヨセフは、海辺の砂ほども多くの穀物を蓄え、ついに量りきれなくなったので、量るのをやめた。
     Joseph was THE Man of the year!  His face would be on the TIME magazine as such an impressive man.  He saved, not only Egypt and the known world from deep hardship, but he also saved his People, Israel.  And in doing so, he shows us how to prepare for hardships and famines.
Putting this all into perspective, he gives God the glory. ヨセフは栄光を神に帰する。It was God who gave him the interpretation.  It was God who sent him to Egypt for this very reason. Joseph was very much aware of whom God was in his life and he made sure others knew about it as well.  Not in a flashy sort of way, just the facts.  I am sure he told his wife, the daughter of the high priest of On.  He told it to his two boys.  He told it to the household of Pharaoh.  And the people everywhere understood that Joseph was more than just a clever man.  
      Look at the new name that was given to him, (Genesis 41:45  Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah. パロはヨセフの名をザフナテ・パネアと呼び Probably means “God speaks and lives” or “The One Who Interprets Dreams”.   And when his brothers came to him for grain, which name did they use?  Not Joseph, but this Egyptian name.  He had interpreted his dreams for them 13 years before!
     And who is that for us today?  Who is the One who knows the future and has prepared a way for those who follow Him? The Lord Jesus.  Once again, Joseph is the shadow of the Lord. イエスの影Jesus is the one who we look to for understanding and for salvation.  As Joseph saved his people, Jesus is the One who is able to save us.
Allow Yourself HOPE  望みを持たせてくれる        Ps 3:1-6, 8 詩篇31-8
    A psalm when David fled from his son Absalom.

 1 O LORD, how many are my foes!   How many rise up against me!
2 Many are saying of me,  “God will not deliver him.”
 3 But You are a shield around me, O LORD; You bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
4 To the LORD I cry aloud, and He answers me from His holy hill.
 5 I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.
6 I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side.
8 From the LORD comes deliverance. May Your blessing be on Your people.

Commit Self to Action 神の御前に歩む 詩篇563-410-13         
 Ps 56:3-4, 10-13 When the Philistines had seized him in Gath.

 3 When I am afraid, I will trust in You.
4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?
10 In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise—
11 in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
 12 I am under vows to You, O God; I will present my thank offerings to You.
13 For You have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.

Place Confidence & Trust in Him 神を信じ、依り頼む 詩篇1352713 Ps 13: 5 
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.;

Remember Past Salvation 過去の救いを思い返す 詩篇7115     Ps 71: 15 
My mouth will tell of Your righteousness, of Your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure.

Wait Patiently  忍耐深く待つ 詩篇2714 創世記457   Ps 27: 14 
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.             
Gen 45:7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

Stay Dependent on God 神を頼りとする 詩篇711 Ps 71: 1 
In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame.
     During those long years of famine Joseph, there was much suffering.  It effected all of life and because of it, many died around the world.  The Supreme Head of Egypt told his subjects to take their needs to Joseph.  Everyone went to him for substance.  They paid for the food and they lived. Some came from far away countries and laid down some serious gold and silver for the much needed grain.  Because of that, Egypt got very rich.  THAT was because of the wisdom of their Prime Minister.  His plan for the famine was followed and people who went to him, lived.
     So it is in our land today.  We have a famine on this earth right now.  It is in the form of a spiritual famine.  People are without hope and without substance to keep them going.  Jesus is the One we can turn to for all our needs.  He welcomes all to come to Him and have life and to have life more abundantly!  People come from around the world to gain insight and salvation from Him.  The cost was already covered by the Sacrifice that Jesus supplied on the Cross
·  I hear the Savior say, “Your strength indeed is small; Child of weakness, watch and pray, Find in Me your all in all.”
Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.
·  For nothing good have I whereby Your grace to claim; I’ll wash my garments white in the Blood of Calvary’s Lamb.
·  And now complete in Him, My robe, His righteousness, Close sheltered underneath His side, I am divinely blessed.
Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.
 (Look to Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:30 for more on this.)
     Also, remember that the Lord is in control of all things.  He knows. He does not make mistakes.  He does not say: “What, Stan De La Cour just died…boy that took me by surprise! Wow!  Didn’t see that coming!”
     How do you survive a spiritual famine? One, realize that there is a famine.  Deal with it in His Wisdom.  This is not to be taken lightly!  Don’t say: “Oh, I’m just fine, I’m not in a famine!” Denial does not help your situation. WE ALL NEED to realize that our spirits are weak and we need to eat from His Hand. 
     To realize the famine, ask yourself:  
Do I long for time alone with Him?   
Do I read His Word? 
How is your prayer time? 
Do I talk with Him during the day—asking Him for His leading? 
Do I have fellowship with others who call on His Name? 
Am I pro active in seeking forgiveness? 
Are there areas of your life that needs a Spiritual cleaning? 
 第1ヨハネ 1:8-9 自分に罪がないと言うなら、自らを欺いており、真理はわたしたちの内にありません。 自分の罪を公に言い表すなら、神は真実で正しい方ですから、罪を赦し、あらゆる不義からわたしたちを清めてくださいます。
1 John 1:8-9 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.   
 Don’t deny His claim on you!

Please make plans to attend the Benefit Concert for Wheelchairs Of Hope at the Biblical Church in Ekoda on Wed, November 23rd.  The Black Gospel Concert will host the sounds and personality of Mr. Ray Sidney.  Read the handout for details.  WHO needs 100 new names to add to their mailing list so that they can become an NPO with the Japanese government.  If you are unable to attend, you might want to make a donation of ¥3,000 and sign the address list on their behalf.