We hardly ever talk about Goshen, however, I am more than convinced, that the city of Goshen has strong prophetic overtones for the Body of Christ—especially in the light of current happenings all around us. To begin with, where was Goshen? In Egypt? In the enemy’s territory. And where are we? As Christians we live in Egypt too. Goshen is that part of Egypt where the Israelites dwelt during their sojourn there. It was the land Pharaoh gave to Joseph to dwell in with His siblings and family when they came to Egypt because he disclosed that they were shepherds. They went into Goshen with great favour and God prospered and multiplied them largely even before the plagues.
Before the Exodus, God sent ten plagues as punishments on Pharaoh and Egypt for not allowing God’s people, Israel, to go free from their slavery. Pharaoh was demonstrating his power over the Israelites. Of the ten plagues, whilst the first three affected all the land of Egypt, at the fourth plague, God made a difference. The difference was ‘GOSHEN’. Dare I say here that GOSHEN was not a place of wishful thinking, it was a place of separation. Israel was set apart from Egypt in every way, so much so that God had no challenge telling the difference. Any Israelite that dwelt in an Egyptian home was not spared God’s wrath. Now that we have agreed that being in obedience to God represents GOSHEN, let’s share a little more.
I see tremendous parallels for us in our everyday walk with God…
Number One: there were storms in Goshen. Storms can be demonic, but they can also represent moves of the Holy Spirit. For example, the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind (Job 38). As people of God, I’m convinced we need to learn how to live in the middle of whirlwinds, in the midst of storms. A life lived for and with God is not devoid of storms. Of course, we understand that Goshen was not only a place in Old Testament days; it is also a state of abiding in the will of the Lord. Truth be said, darkness is coming, like it came upon the entire land of Egypt, but like children of God in Goshen, we should be above the darkness. In the midst of Egypt, the Israelites had lights in their camps!
“…Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt.’ So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.” –Ex.10:21-23
And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. Isaiah 45:3
Next, God is looking to bless us with the treasures out of darkness. In the words of Dr. Tony Rapu, ‘the chaos Egypt sees is the deliverance you seek’. Let’s think back to the night of the final deliverance of Israel from Egypt. Whilst the angel of death visited and struck the firstborn sons of Egypt, Israel was busy on their feet, hurriedly feasting on the Passover, preparing to leave. The mourning of Egypt was opportunity for wealth transfer for Israel. They went boldly and requested of Egypt the gold and ornaments that they used to build the tabernacle to God in the desert. What do you see amidst chaos? God is looking to open hidden riches to ‘Israel’ in the world’s chaos.
Do you see a depraved society or an opportunity to share the light of Christ? Do you see problems? Or an opportunity to display divine wisdom to provide a solution? There is hidden inside of you a solution that you need to develop. Something that responds to an existing problem. An uncommon insight and excellence within you that can draw riches out of hidden darkness. You must not see through the eyes of Egypt, yes you are physically in the same location but God has made a difference like He did so many years before. You must see yourself in Goshen. God is seeking to give us treasures out of what ordinarily presents as darkness and riches out of secret places.
As the economy and the world around us seems to be in darkness, the Lord’s glory will rise and shine upon His people. Nations, if need be, will bring their wealth to us for we have been promised the wealth of the Gentiles. (Isaiah. 60:5). Joseph ruled Egypt remember, he had the economic power by virtue of God’s wisdom and gifting, not Pharaoh’s mandate. The rules are about to change, God is looking to light up His children amidst the darkness. I ask the all-searching question.
Cannot we aspire and consistently live in God’s presence amidst the Egypt that the world is and enjoy the benefits of Goshen too?