Joseph’s family is going to live in Egypt because of the severe famine. They say there is no pasture for the flock. They are shepherds and nothing is growing. Their flocks have nothing to eat. The issue is a lack of crops. Nothing is growing, maybe because of drought, but we are just told of the famine, the result of whatever is going on.
The people are hungry; even the animals are hungry. Everyone’s feeling the lack, even Jacob’s wealthy family. They hadn’t gotten to the point of starving. They had all that fruit and nuts to send to Pharaoh as a present, but they saw the problem of the famine approaching. They had already gone once before to buy grain. They had felt the need. It just wasn’t pressing yet, not causing a problem other than going out of their way to buy grain since it wasn’t growing. And what do they end up with? Pharaoh designates for them the “best of the land of Egypt.”
This is a part of that separation we’ve talked about, and it’s part of God working things out for the good of those who love Him and who have been called according to His purposes. Israel certainly has been chosen and called. He may complain and not be grateful an awful lot, but he acknowledges God. He stopped to offer sacrifices. He obeyed when God asked him to.
God works it out for the good of Israel. Satan may intend famine to cause death and destruction; remember, Satan is always wanting to get rid of God’s people, but God turns it around and uses it to bless His people.
God’s economy is not reliant on the world’s economy. He can use their doom for your gain. Here we see the Egyptians and surrounding peoples giving all their money and land and more to Pharaoh. Who does Pharaoh turn around and give a portion of it to? The Israelites. Others are giving up everything for some food. The Israelites pay nothing and receive the best. God knows how to take care of His children.