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Faith in Famine
July 07, 2013      |     By: Jonathan Brickley      |      Category: Sermons

Jonathan shares about how the Lord’s purpose and regular use of famine in our lives is for our good and His glory.

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The Lord’s purpose and regular use of FAMINE in our lives is for our good and His glory.

What is famine?

’An Extreme Scarcity of Food’

Deuteronomy 8:1-3

The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers. 2 And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. 3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

If we LIVE by the word of the Lord, then it’s true that we will DIE if we don’t know or heed the word of the Lord.

In fact, any time we lose faith in His word, and lean on our own word, our own wisdom or reason - we ALWAYS cause death, destruction & chaos.

So then, in the Lord’s eyes - the very purpose of Famine is to teach us to LIVE BY - SOURCE FROM the word of the Lord.  

Deuteronomy 8:4

Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these 40 years.

Deuteronomy 29:5

I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn off your feet.

Deuteronomy 2:7

For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He knows your going through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you. You have lacked nothing.

Psalms 37:18-19

The Lord knows the days of the blameless, and their heritage will remain forever; 19 they are not put to shame in evil times; in the days of famine they have abundance.

Through Famine the enemy wants us to fear the loss of our Resources & Life

What is God’s purpose for us?

Deuteronomy 6:24

And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. 

Deuteronomy 8:16

… to do us good in the end.

Famine CAN be a judgment of the Lord for sin & disobedience - but not in the cases we will look at today. 



Go to the land that I will show you  (Genesis 12:1)

God’s Word: Great nation...bless you...great name...bless those who bless you...curse those who curse...all families blessed in you... (Genesis 12:2-3)



So Abraham (Abram) went … (Genesis 12:4)

Arrived in Canaan (Genesis 12:5) 

Built an altar, called on God (Genesis 12:8) 



Now there was a famine IN THE LAND (Genesis 12:10)



So Abraham went down to Egypt to sojourn there (Genesis 12:10)


Fear & Man’s Wisdom/Reason:

I know...they will say...Then they will kill me...  (Genesis 12:11-12)

Say you’re my sister … THAT IT MAY GO WELL WITH ME (Genesis 12:13)

No Faith in God’s word of future blessing (Genesis 12 2-3, 7) 


Results In:

Immediate Consequences: 

- Great Plagues for Pharaoh’s house (Genesis 12:17)

Long-Term Consequences: 

- The production of a destructive son, Ishmael, through the Egyptian Female Servant Hagar (Genesis 12:16 & 16:1)

Genesis 16:12 

12 He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.

(PS, same story with King Abimelech in chapter 20)


(learned from his Dad’s mistakes, but still had a lack of faith in God’s Word)



Now there was a famine IN THE LAND (Genesis 26:1)



Do not go down to Egypt, dwell in the land I tell you (Genesis 26:2) 


God’s Word:

I’ll be with you...bless you...give all these lands to you...establish my oath...multiply your offspring...all nations blessed (Genesis 26:3-4)



So Isaac settled in Gerar. (Genesis 26:7)


Fear & Man’s Wisdom/Reason:

She is my sister...thinking....lest they should kill me... (Genesis 26:7)

Because I thought, LEST I DIE BECAUSE OF HER... (Genesis 26:9)

No Faith in God’s word of blessing (verse 3-4)


Results in:

Immediate Blessing: 

Sowed in the land and reaped 100-fold the same year, became very rich & gained more (Genesis 26:12-14)

Long-Term Consequences

The production of a deceptive son - Jacob (Genesis 25:26 & 27:36)


(Had Faith In & Obedience To God’s word during slavery & prison)


Promised Blessing:

Your sheaves bowed down to mine... (Genesis 37:7)

Sun, Moon & 11 Stars bowed down to me... (Genesis 37:9)


Personal Famine:

He LEARNED obedience through his personal famine.

Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. (Hebrews 5:8)


The Lord took care of him in famine!

But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. (Genesis 39:21)


Faith & God’s Wisdom/Reason:

- GOD is doing this... (Genesis 41:28)

- A plan for Ruling & Reigning, IN the famine (Genesis 41:33-36)



- Very Severe (Genesis 41:31), over all the earth (Genesis 41:57)


Results In:

Immediate Blessing: 

Honor: 2nd in command to Pharaoh (Genesis 41:40-44)

Long-Term Blessing: 

- Provision, opened storehouses, feeding everyone (Genesis 41:56)

- Preserving a remnant on the earth  (Genesis 45:7) 

- Purchasing all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh (Genesis 47:20)

- Produced a ’fruitful son’ Ephraim - from whom descended Joshua

Related Resources

Encouragements : A Season of Acceleration in Sending
Sunday School : Matthew 10:21-42
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