The Passover Conflict

Arno Froese

Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land” (Genesis 41:29-30).

A recent article by Al Gist of Maranatha Evangelistic Ministries highlighted the fact that, during Biblical times, judgment always came at the heights of great prosperity. That certainly was the case in ancient Egypt during Joseph’s time. 

Today, we live in a world where food is in abundance. Wikipedia states that “about 19% of the world’s population was undernourished in 1990. That number has dropped to 11% in 2014.” Yet for 2019, reports: “More than 37 million people struggle with hunger in the United States, including more than 11 million children.” When it comes to Israel, Google reveals: “According to a survey by Israel’s National Insurance Institute (Bituah Leumi), nearly 25% of Israelis experience food insecurity.” lists the 10 most food-wasting countries per capita as: Australia, the United States, Turkey, Spain, Japan, German, Mexico, Italy, Morocco, and Portugal.

The contradiction continues: too much food on the one hand, and hunger on the other. However, hunger is definitely decreasing globally.

The Passover Conflict
The Jerusalem Post headlines its 19 April 2019 article: “Passover: One of the Most Wasteful Times of the Year.” Here are some excerpts:

The festival of Passover, a celebration of the timeless tale of Jewish freedom from slavery, is also one of the most wasteful times of the year in Israel.

According to data published by food rescue organization Leket Israel and accounting firm BDO, 106,000 tons of food, worth approximately NIS 1.126 billion ($313 million), goes to waste during the month of the festival—about 14% higher than regular monthly waste.

The significant increase in waste is driven, Leket Israel states, by a combination of the large quantity of leavened products thrown away by supermarkets and consumers prior to Passover and the masses of Kosher-for-Passover foods—including matzah—that will not be sold or eaten after the holiday, and will also be thrown away. 

In [a] month, more than 1,700 tons of fruits and vegetables were donated to Leket Israel from farmers, packing houses and surplus food crops, which were otherwise slated for destruction but given to Leket for distribution to Israel’s needy.

In the case of household consumption alone, 880,000 tons of food—valued at NIS 7b. ($2.2b.)—was wasted last year, with the average Israeli family disposing of food worth NIS 3,200 ($890), equivalent to a month and a half of annual household food expenditure.

During Jesus’ time, He told His disciples, “give ye them to eat” (Matthew 14:16b). We all know the story: there were five loaves of bread and two fish. The disciples distributed them among the people, and verse 21 documents: “And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.” We must point to verse 20b: “and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.” That simply teaches us not to waste food. For us believers, food is a gift from God that sustains us while here on earth. Yet equally true is the spiritual aspect; if we do not consume spiritual food, our spiritual life will shrivel and our testimony darken.

Midnight Call - 04/2020

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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