When Israel Failed: The Reality of the Story of Joseph

In many regards, it would be difficult to tout Israel as a successful nation. The nation, or people group as it likely should be called, has struggled to establish any sustainable form of existence since its founding in 1948, and then some. The tiny country has resisted conflict after conflict from countries such as Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, and others. And certainly, it struggled to remain together prior to its official establishment as a nation, even since God promised it to Abraham. Yet it has remained; somehow, this fragmented group of Jews has remained together as a people.

Certainly, remaining steadfast as a people with no nation, with no definitive place to call home outside of a few Biblical and historical references, should not go unnoticed. But apparently it has, especially to the United States, the powerhouse perhaps too prideful to learn from such a small troubled people.

Two of the more pressing lessons we could learn from Israel, Israel learned centuries ago, centuries before we finally recognized it as a nation. I suppose it was just another day that day. Joseph was in prison for a crime he did not commit, and Pharaoh, well, Pharaoh was “pharaohing,” I suppose. A prisoner and a king; the two could not be more opposite socio-economically. But the crossing of their paths would soon set back the people of Israel for generations.

Through a series of events, Joseph would find himself as the leader of the land of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh (Genesis 41:40), with his first assignment being to ready the country for the pending seven years of famine during the seven years of plenty. So, Joseph levied a 20 percent tax on the people by taking one fifth of all the land’s grain production (cf Genesis 41:34, and eventually in 47:24, as well). Note, as is the case with any modern-day tax, tariff, or government fee, this was not optional. It was not a suggestion; it was a mandate, one that came with overseers—government employees such as our IRS—to ensure that the government received what it wanted. However, at least upon suggestion to Pharaoh, this was for the good of the nation,(1) so the nation could be preserved through the pending seven years of famine. But to the discerning observer, this would quickly lead to the demise of God’s own people.

So, the people worked, and the Egyptian IRS took their 20 percent cut. Sound familiar? Of course it does; except for today the people who work are fewer and fewer, and those who take is more and more—and that 20 percent thing, well, at least double it. But recall that as of now, we have a Godly leader in charge, not of grain production, but of grain collection, but even he will demonstrate poor decision-making abilities.

As the seven years of plenty came and went, and the working man’s production was taxed by Joseph, supposedly for safe keeping so the nation could survive the seven years of famine, the people began to ponder their situation. Wouldn’t you? You know; all was well and fine when you had money to burn. You lived the dream. You had the best of everything. The best camels, maybe even one with two humps instead of one. You bought extra teams of oxen—you know, like farmers sometimes do; they buy those one and two hundred thousand-dollar tractors to farm only 100 acres of land. And forgetting about that pending famine thing, perhaps you even invest in more land holdings; not that you would be able to afford it necessarily, but you received financing nonetheless, kind of like many of those persons in the US who were given home loans from, say 2003—2007. You know, right up before the entire global economy collapsed due to unscrupulous financial decisions in the banking industry. But as the famine settled in, you became aware of your spending patterns and pondered the decisions you made as opposed to the decisions you should have made (cf 41:29-30).

So, as time ticked by your family became hungry, even to the point where you were forced to accept government subsistence. Of course, government subsistence is a bit of an oxymoron given that government employees do not generate incomes; they merely take incomes. In fact, only a small handful of agencies create enough monies to even cover their overhead. But I digress. Your kids are hungry, even starving. So, you approach some of Joseph’s people for food (47:15). You hate to, but you have little choice. However, as opposed to receiving the very grain you had provided during the seven years of plenty as mandated by Joseph’s tax, you are forced to pay for it—for your own grain! You were forced to give up all your income for food, then your livestock, the very tools you used to harvest the grain in the first place. And it was about to get worse!

With nothing left to pay Joseph for food, you eventually waltz into City Hall offering your own body in exchange for grain, grain that was already yours through annual taxation. And the only response you can muster is, “Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for food, and we and our land will be slaves to Pharaoh…” (47:19) Buy us! Can you imagine having to sell yourself and your family into slavery so you could eat?

This is beyond socialism. This situation is even worse than communism. You are now a slave to the government. To Joseph. To Pharaoh. And to every government employee. A slave. Welcome to the United States. This is the reality of what happens when we sell out to government employees. We become captive. In fact, today, we are captive to government employees. But why do I say government employees as opposed to simply government? Because government does not exist without people, without employees. After all, government buildings do not make decisions, nor do policies; people do. So, it is to the demands of government employees that we foolishly succumb.

Okay, well, let’s see what happens when we sell out, when we make one of the most foolish decisions we can make holistically as a nation. How does 430 years of slavery sound (Exodus 12:40)? Nearly one hundred and fifty-seven thousand days of captivity. Does this sound better? Assuming a generation is 40 years, that means over 10 generations will come and go before you are released. Ten. But it is worse than this. Remember that you must actually survive during this turmoil, so what happens day in and day out? Well, you do as you are told. In this case, at least toward the end of these four and a half centuries, you make bricks. And with each generation that passes, government employees want more and more. They not only want more and more; they demand more and more, to the point that immense suffering is brought upon you and your family by corrupt taskmasters, i.e. cops (cf Exodus 3:7) when you cannot fulfill their mandates. So being the coward that you and your generation are, you foolishly work more and more.

Of course, you have the opportunity of standing up against these government employees, but you choose otherwise. How do we know this? Because suffrage of the Israelites and Egyptians occurred over the course of time. They persisted. You refused to stand up. They persisted further. And you refused to stand up further—exactly what has occurred in the United States. However, what you do not realize is that these government employees are more afraid of you than you are of them; we know this to be true. In fact, we not only have recent evidence, we have Biblical evidence. Consider what happened in the riots after the police beating of Rodney King. We the People revolted against these corrupt cops. Remember, not a single cop who nearly beat this poor man to death was punished—at all. Complete authority. Zero accountability. And subsequently, no repercussions. But when We the People revolted, what did the cops do? Did they increase police presence in the hopes of maintaining control? Did the police chief go out and speak directly to We the People in the hopes of calming this miscarriage of justice? No. Quite the contrary, in fact. When We the People pulled out their own guns, the cops fled! They scattered like doves at a dove shoot! Their true colors came shining through when We the People finally stood up against such evils. Cops and other government “officials” cowered like children, all running back to their fortified bunkers, never to return. But this is not the first time we have seen cops cower. Remember what happened in Waco when corrupt FBI and ATF agents ambushed the Branch Davidians, guns ablazing?(2) When they began firing back, these tough cops fled! They scattered! Only later did they return with military tanks to carry our murder of civilians.

Search the internet; such evils are rampant with government employees. When We the People stand up against government employees, when we arm ourselves and say enough is enough, the governors and scattered by the governed—exactly as should occur. A servant is never above his master. And this is exactly why government employees try to control guns in the US; the last thing they want is for We the people to actually be in control.

Consider the Biblical evidence of such weaknesses in those who think they are above We the People. Refer to Exodus 1:10-11. Here we learn exactly how taskmasters felt about We the People, the slaves. “Come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply and in the event of war, they also join themselves to those who hate us and fight against us, and depart from the land. So they appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor.” And the more We the People reproduced and grew in population and might, the more afraid the taskmasters became, so they beat them, making their lives miserable at every turn (cf Exodus 1:7, 1:12-14, 3:7, and 5:14). And in this case, why did taskmasters fear We the People? They had no other choice! If We the People decided they had tired of making bricks for the takers in their world, they would revolt! And not only would a revolution be painful to the government employees, who would feed the government employees? Remember, their only form of so-called work was forcing We the People to work! They had no skill sets to render their own provisions! None! Their mere existence centered on taking what was not theirs! Even any taxes these government employees rendered were initially generated by We the People!

Subsequently, there are several realities associated with the story of Joseph, many of which we should consider personally as individuals and others we should consider holistically as Americans. However, let’s concentrate on only two lessons. One, when a nation sells out to its government, that nation is soon destroyed by government employees. We the People become slaves to government employees. And two, when We the People sell out to its government, there exists no hope in delivery outside of direct intervention from God Almighty. How do we know this? Had God not heard the groaning of his people (Exodus 2:24), and delivered Israel through the calling of Moses (Exodus 3, forward), there would have been no delivery from bondage. And friend, the same holds true for the US today. Without God, there is no freedom from bondage.

1. Every government policy is initially couched as being good for the nation. Only later, that same policy actually controls that nation’s people.
2. This author does not agree with much of the teachings of the Branch Davidians, However, FBI and ATF agents murdered some 80 persons in Waco, Texas, that day, without criminal repercussion—a telling day in America.