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 used up’ (Genesis 47:15).
Similarities and differences are found between the financial crisis during Joseph’s time and our age. During Joseph’s time, their monetary system failed, but it was a different type of failure. Unlike our generation, Egypt and the entire world during Joseph’s time had never developed a complicated monetary system.
Another difference between this piece of biblical history and our time is that Joseph’s generation had finally realized that their primary need is not money, but food to survive. We still do not have such realization. Most people are still enamored by the “magic” of existing monetary system.
Another striking similarity is the presence of a “super-state.” During Joseph’s time, the people of the world look up to the government of Egypt, the most powerful government at that time for economic answer. But the differences in our generation are so vast. Today, people do not agree to look to the US as the solution, but the source of the problem through its central banking, fractional reserve system, fiat money, and inflation. People in our days are looking for alternative ways to survive the worsening crisis. Those who have the financial capability are now in a hurry purchasing gold and silver. They no longer look to US stock market and the US dollar as something redeemable. Some have anticipated a very long economic downturn.
Others have returned to traditional way of market exchange, barter. With the existing global economic crisis, people in various parts of the world are looking for alternative ways to trade. A number of cities in Greece serve as great examples in returning to an old model of exchange with a digital twist.
In biblical history, prior to the coming of the economic/financial collapse, God had already prepared a godly leader who knew the way out of the crisis – and that is, saving resources in times of economic “boom” to be used during economic “busts.” Unfortunately, in our time, the church today is unprepared to provide the necessary leadership and economic solution to the worsening crisis. For so long, she has retreated from her task of witnessing the total word of God to the people in all of life. It will take some time, maybe after the financial collapse, for the church to learn the costly price for such a retreat.