For seven years, the rains had come. The crops grew green and strong, and there was more than enough to eat for everyone.
But then one day, the rains stopped.
Of course, no one noticed the day the rains stopped. Thats not something you notice. At first all those sunny days are great. But then after a while, the grass starts to turn a little brown, and the crops in the fields begin to shrivel a little. And then later on, the grass turns really brown, and the crops begin to wilt away.
And thats how it was in the land of Egypt. The rains did not come, and the crops began to dry up and die.
Everywhere the land was thirsty for water. And there was none.
Now, you have to remember that this was a long time ago, and things were quite a bit different than they are now.
For one thing, when the sun went down at night, it got dark! There werent lights on everywhere like there are now because electricity wasnt going to be invented for thousands of years. You couldnt go to your tent and flip a switch to turn on a light, or sit down at your computer, or watch TV.
It was dark. Everywhere. With only the light from the moon and the stars.
If you needed more light, you had to light a candle or an oil lamp, or build a fire in the fire pit.
And when you ran out of bread, you had to make more yourself. You couldnt just hop on your camel and run up to the grocery store, where youd find shelf after shelf jammed with all kinds of bread in fancy plastic packages.
No, you had to get out the flour and yeast and water, and light the fire in the oven and bake your own bread.
And if you ran out of flour, you had to go to the storehouse and get some more wheat and grind it up into flour.
And if you ran out of wheat in your storehouse, well, then what would you do?
If you ran out of wheat, that was it. You were in trouble.
There was no grocery store you could always run to and get more. You had to wait until the next harvest, when the wheat had grown up again.
These days its easy for us to think that everything comes from the grocery store. The shelves are always full. Whenever we run out of anything, there is always plenty more. Its easy to think, Who needs God? We can just go to the store and get anything we need!
But thats not how it really is.
Everything really comes from God.
If the rain didnt fall, and the crops didnt grow, the shelves in the store would be empty. And there would be nothing anybody could do.
Only God can make the rain fall and the crops grow.
But God is so good and so powerful and so loving, he takes care of us every day. He sends the rain that waters the earth. He makes the wheat for bread grow; and corn, and bananas, and oranges and carrots. He even makes fun stuff grow, like cocoa beans and vanilla so we can have hot chocolate and banana splits.
We should thank God every day, He blesses us with so much!
But what if he didnt? What if one day the rains stopped falling? And the crops in the fields DIDNT grow, then what would we do?
We would have nothing to eat at all.
And thats just what began to happen in the land of Egypt.