Death and Taxes – Genesis 47:13-31 – Sermon Notes

The slavery in this passage is different from the slavery we think of today.

The Lord cares for all people through his gracious leader (v13-26)

This is probably about four years into seven years of famine. Pharaoh gets all the money. The people go to Joseph and ask for food. They know they have a choice of either life or death. Joseph says he’ll buy their animals from them. The Egyptians know that losing their possessions and living is better. They’re at least fine for a time. When that year was over, they go to Joseph again. They offer themselves. The people make the suggestion this time to sell themselves and their land. They carry on living on the same land. It costs them a 20% tax. They get food, seeds to sow, and their land. They know it’s good.

God had brought Joseph to Egypt to save the lives of Jacob and his sons. Joseph was only ever a small picture of Jesus. When they were confronted with a choice the Egyptians would’ve been foolish to go it alone. We have the same choice. That way leads to death. We can give ourselves to Jesus. That way leads to life. We need to know the truth like the Egyptians did. We also need to show it.

The Lord cares uniquely for his people through his gracious leader (v27-28)

Every person has lots of blessings. It’s better to live as a Christian now than not to. There is comfort through suffering as the Holy Spirit is with us. We need to remind each other that this is true. The love, care and mercy that God expects us to show each other is wonderful.

The Lord’s people live now for his future promises (v29-31)

God’s future is far better. Jesus is going to remake the world and begin a new world of joy. Isn’t that what helps us to forgive? This life isn’t all there is. We need to keep encouraging each other not to live for the now but for the future promises.

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