‘And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn’, Gen. 41. 35. ‘As I have seen thee in the sanctuary’, Ps. 63. 2.
The kernel of Joseph’s advice to a troubled Pharaoh was something that perhaps we do well to consider.
While some may look back on bygone days and bemoan the loss of the spiritual ‘glory’ of previous generations, in our day, we remain immensely privileged in spiritual terms. With access to so many tools to enable us to study the scriptures, in many ways we are living in good years – years of plenty. One difference is that we don’t know how long these years will last, and maybe days of immense testing and challenge, years of deep drought, lie not too far ahead. But for now, they are not here! Likewise, in our personal experience, there will be ‘good years’ where we have the opportunity to ‘lay up corn’. However, there is an inherent danger in such days for complacency and the enjoyment of the wealth of the present can distract and divert us from getting to know the character of our God. We might make the mistake of thinking that only in tribulation can we learn such things – not true! Indeed, if we don’t know Him before the trials, then we have nothing to depend on when they come! O the importance of storing up an appreciation of God, as He is revealed in His word!
In Psalm 63, David would seem to draw that lesson out for us too. In verse 2, he is not asking to be back in the sanctuary, although no doubt he would have loved that. In the dryness and thirstiness of a testing wilderness experience, his priority is to entreat God that he might see His power and glory. But it is noteworthy that he adds a phrase that shows us that he wasn’t asking for God to show him something new. He had put the years of ‘plenty’ to good use! He had used them to get to know his God and now, confident in the character of God, he draws hope, strength and solace for those lean times.
Of course, God is able to reveal Himself in power and glory to anyone, at any time – He is sovereign – but can we really expect to neglect to harvest a knowledge of God in years of plenty, and then expect Him to miraculously turn up when we need His consolation? Shouldn’t we be seeking to implement the counsel of the perceptive and prudent Joseph?
Let us be industrious in our years of plenty, to store up a knowledge of the word of God, and an experience of our God, so that when these tough times come, as they always will in the experience of a believer, we will have something to keep us fed, and properly nourished.
It is the prayer of the committee that the efforts of those who have written the articles will enable our readers to ‘lay up corn’ so that in times of trial we might be able to pray like David.