The latter chapters of the book of Genesis give us a good lesson about how a government can take too much control over a country during a major crisis. We will look at this Old Testament (or, the Torah) lesson and how we can find similarity by today’s governments following its pattern in getting more control over its people and making its leaders stronger.
Through a dream God warned the Pharaoh of Egypt about an upcoming famine that would occur in his land. There would be 7 years of plenty followed by 7 years of a devastating famine. Pharaoh himself could not interpret this strange dream that he had, nor could his wise men. But God had placed a slave who was of the family of Israel in the right place to interpret this dream. After Joseph interpreted the dream, Pharaoh saw the wisdom he had, so he made Joseph second only to him in authority in Egypt. He put Joseph in charge to prevent this upcoming famine from destroying the people of Egypt. Joseph had not only correctly interpreted this dream, but had previously proven himself a wise manager over the property of other people, so he had some experience in this matter. Through his new position, Joseph not only saved the people of Egypt, but he also saved his own family as well. I do not question that God placed Joseph in such a position of authority and through that saved Israel and many other people from death; I know that God in his mercy put the right man in the right place to save not only His own people, but other people as well. But the Bible does not say that God gave Joseph the exact plan; it leaves the inception of the plan vague. So this could give us an insight as to how a government could work through a crises, this one that they knew was coming.
Since there was 7 years of plenty, Joseph increased the taxes on the harvest, so much so, that he took the entire crop. He did not waste this, but instead he stored this food in preparation for the upcoming famine. So when the famine hit, there was plenty of food. But the way the citizens got it was to buy it from the government. After a few years, the people had sold everything they had, including their land, to the government so they could eat. The Egyptians had nothing else they could sell, but there was still more years of the famine to go. So they finally sold themselves as slaves to the government, to work the land for the government for their provisions so they and their families could survive. When the 7 years of famine ended, the people had survived through this devastating time. Joseph not only rationed the food wisely enough to feed the people throughout the famine and sell some to neighboring nations, but he had preserved enough to give to the farmers to plant as seed so they could replant their fields, so life could get back to normal.
So we see the government took power and possessions away from the people and gave it to themselves. Mind you, the people only had so much power to begin with, because it was an unelected government. But the government did not just give the food back to the people from whom they received it, but they sold it back so that the people did not have extra money to do what they wanted to do, but now they had to work for the government.
We see similar things happening today. A major financial problem hit much of the world a few years when the real estate market collapsed and many companies nearly went bankrupt, so several countries went into a recession. Here in the U.S., many people lost their jobs and their homes during this time. To help many large companies & banks through the crises, the US government created a stimulus program to lend money to them to help them through; except the government didn’t have the money, as they were already in debt. The government has used 2 sources for this; they borrowed much money from other countries and they just started printing more of it. Whereas it did help these businesses survive and not go into bankruptcy, it caused deeper financial problems. By borrowing much, this mean that the government is now giving more of our tax money to the other countries to pay the interest; sending more of our tax money to foreign countries and leaving less of it to support this country. By printing much, past experience shows this will cause inflation. The government is also paying such things as funding green companies that are going bankrupt, funding research projects on which there is no possible return, and they have retirement plans & wonderful health insurance plans for many employees in Unions, as well as government leadership. So the government is not making the cutbacks in this & other areas to compensate for less income and to live within their means.
So those in government are raising taxes, taking more away from the people who earn it. The leaders are able to live more comfortably themselves, but the citizens have less to live off of. But unlike Joseph, this government is not saving any money or any substance to bring the people through the tough times. Instead, they are getting deeper into debt, which means that the people have no end in sight to the recession that is occurring. The debt that is growing is going to be passed to the next generation who is going to have to pay high taxes in order to pay it. More power is being taken away from the people while those in government are gaining in power over whom they people whom they are suppose to serve. Also, since the government is going deeper into debt; that means the money system (dollar) looses value on the world market. We import many goods from other countries. So since money is not worth as much, that means we have to give more money in order to purchase the goods, because the seller still wants their value. For example; The U.S. buys much of its oil from Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia must pay its employees in their own currency to pump the oil. So if the U.S. dollar looses value, Saudi Arabia must charge more for the oil to maintain paying their employees at the same rate in their own currency. This drives up the price for these goods in the U.S., which puts more pressure on the citizen’s finances. So between higher taxes and paying more for goods, the average person has less money to live off of.
Much of the western world is also in a recession. There are some countries in Europe that are facing bankruptcy and have to borrow money from other nations to keep themselves afloat, so that they have to cutback in some areas. This makes these nations, like Greece, more under the control of the lending nations because of the rules of the funding. This is giving more power to countries like Germany, a lender, to dictate certain policies to the lending nations. Using this model, several people wonder what will happen when the U.S. gets so far in debt that they need larger loans to carry them through it: because no other nation could support such a large loan.
This helps to set up another way that the Antichrist can possible come into power. We usually think of a nation gaining control over another nation through military strength, but this shows another possible way, through financial strength. A financially stronger nation could leverage power over a financially weaker nation by incorporating the weaker into the stronger. It could just take a charismatic leader of one of these lending nations to use his powers of persuasion over the borrowing nations and make them succumb more to their demands, maybe even under their control. The Antichrist will not come to power as a military man, but as a man of peace. He could look like a savior to nations in fiscal problems by using finances to bring more nations under one umbrella, be it a nation or conglomeration of nations, over which he has supreme power & authority. It is then that he will use the military power of the nations against nations that are not with him.
The kingdom that he Antichrist will come from is a 10 nation confederacy. Some have speculated that this could be the European Union, which now has way too many members. There is a possibility that some of these stronger nations could bring the weaker ones under their nation to stave off bankruptcy. By this possibility, the E.U. could be narrowed down to 10. Another thought, the weaker financial nations could be kicked out of the E.U., reducing the amount to 10. Another possibility, due to the current financial crisis, some of the stronger financial nations may leave the E.U. so that the weaker nations do not do more damage to their monetary unit. Remember, much of the E.U. is using the Euro, so the collapse of a Greece or Spain could bring down the value of that currency; so 10 stronger nations may bolt before that happens.
This is not to say that this is what will happen, but it is a possibility. We have to be ready in case these are the End Times. We do not know if we are in them or not. We do not know when Jesus will return, but He has instructed us to be on the lookout for Him.
Whatever is happening, or not happening, we need to let Jesus into our lives. We don’t know when He will return, or when we will die, but we need to be ready to meet Him. To believe that He is the Son of God, and that He died for our sins, for everyone has sinned and fell short of the glory of God. On the third day after His death, the tomb was found empty, because Jesus rose again to give us new life. If we confess with our mouths and believe in our hearts that Jesus is Lord, we will be forgiven of all of our sins and are the path that ends in eternal life in Heaven. Jesus is the only way to God, and He sacrificed His life on the cross so that we can have forgiveness of sins. He is seated at the right hand of the Father now, waiting for the time He is to come back. We need to let Jesus into our lives as our Lord and as our Savior; to read the Bible regularly and attend a Bible believing church to grow in our knowledge of God; to find the ability(s) that God has given us and to use them as wise stewards. We do not have to be perfect to come to God, but just let Him into our lives and allow God to work within us.