Living Through Famine test

Posted by: Leo Marte, CFP®, MBA | Aug 14 2023

Welcome to The Bible Money Journal, a brief for Christian professionals who want to learn more about God’s ways of managing money. In each edition, I share a verse, a story, and a money lesson to help you in your journey.

This brief is a resource for navigating the scriptures through the lens of financial planning and learning how to apply them in your life.

Let’s get started!

Genesis 47:14 - 16, 20, 23-24

14 By selling grain to the people, Joseph eventually collected all the money in Egypt and Canaan, and he put the money in Pharaoh’s treasury.
15 When the money of the people of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all Egypt came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? Our money is all gone.”
16 Joseph replied, “Since your money is gone, bring me your livestock. I will give you food in exchange for your livestock.”
20 So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh. All the Egyptians sold him their fields because the famine was so severe, and soon all the land belonged to Pharaoh.
23 Then Joseph said to the people, “Look, today I have bought you and your land for Pharaoh. I will provide you with seed so you can plant the fields. 24 Then when you harvest it, one-fifth of your crop will belong to Pharaoh. You may keep the remaining four-fifths as seed for your fields and as food for you, your households, and your little ones.”

We’ve been building up to this moment over the past few newsletters. In Genesis 47, we finally encounter the famine that gripped the land of Egypt and the surrounding regions. As a result, people were facing severe scarcity and struggling to meet their basic needs. Amidst this crisis, we learn about the wise and prudent actions of Joseph, who was second in command to Pharaoh and responsible for managing Egypt's resources.

Assessing the Situation

Joseph recognized the gravity of the situation and took decisive action to safeguard the people's well-being. In our lives, we start by understanding our current circumstances and analyzing the situation. By assessing our income, expenses, debts, and investments, we gain a comprehensive overview of our financial health. This evaluation helps us make informed decisions and develop effective strategies to navigate challenges.

Developing a Plan

Joseph implemented a strategic plan to address the famine and its implications for the people. He introduced a system where people exchanged their livestock, land, and eventually themselves for food. Through this plan, Joseph ensured that everyone had sustenance during the famine and prevented widespread desperation. Similarly, we can benefit from having a well-thought-out financial plan that encompasses short-term and long-term goals. It should include budgeting, investment strategies, and contingency plans to secure our financial future.

Practicing Stewardship

As the famine persisted, Joseph continued to manage the resources wisely. He collected payment and distributed the accumulated grain in times of need. This demonstrated the importance of stewardship, which calls us to manage the resources entrusted to us responsibly. By practicing wise financial stewardship, we can cultivate a mindset of gratitude, generosity, and the ability to make a lasting impact on others.

Steps to Navigate the Famine

  1. Don’t panic: Take the time to assess your financial situation thoroughly. Evaluate your income, expenses, debts, savings, and investments. Do not make emotional decisions about your investment portfolio. Seek professional guidance from a trusted Christian financial advisor who can help you align your plan with biblical principles.
  2. Leverage your Emergency Fund: This fund acts as a safety net during unforeseen circumstances, providing peace of mind and stability in case of job interruption or unexpected expenses.
  3. Practice Wise Stewardship: Adopt a mindset of stewardship in your financial decisions. Understand that your financial resources are blessings from God and should be used wisely. Seek opportunities to give generously, save diligently, and invest responsibly. By managing your finances with integrity and wisdom, you can make a positive impact on your own life and the lives of others.

Remember, by taking proactive steps and seeking God's guidance, we can navigate financial challenges with confidence and secure a brighter future.

Leo Marte is a Christian financial advisor and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. Abundant Advisors provides financial advice for Christians with convenient virtual meetings. Let’s talk if you are ready to make the next move.