For those of you who don’t know where Goshen is, it is a place in the extreme northern end of ancient Egypt, very close to the Mediterranean Sea. It was a land where a young Hebrew, named Joseph, became the second in authority under the Pharaoh of that day. Pharaoh allowed him to bring his entire family to Goshen, the best land in all of Egypt, in order to provide for them during a global famine that lasted for seven years.
Joseph was a prophetic picture of Christ and His provision for His people. As long as they stayed in Goshen, all their families and livestock were taken care of.
The descendants of Joseph’s brothers remained there for 430 years until Moses, their next leader, came on the scene to deliver them from another wicked Pharaoh. During this time, the land of Goshen became very significant to the survival of the Hebrews.
You may be asking yourself, “So what does some place in ancient Egypt have to do with me today?”
Goshen is not just an ancient geographical location of the past. It’s a real mental and spiritual location inside each one of us today. How well we survive these coming days on earth—which are challenging to say the least—will be determined by whether we’re currently living in Goshen in our hearts and minds.
To know if you’re living in Goshen, you need to know a little history about it first. Interestingly, the name Goshen means to draw near.
Protection During Plagues in Goshen
When Moses came on the scene, the Hebrews had been in Egyptian bondage to Pharaoh for many years. God was preparing to deliver the Israelite’s from his harsh rule; but not before some very serious judgments were released through Moses.
You may or may not have heard this story. But it involves nine serious plagues that affected the entire land of Egypt in that day. Each time a different plague was about to be released, God sent Moses in before Pharaoh to warn him that it was coming, but he continually resisted and hardened his heart toward God.
However, God supernaturally protected the Israelites from all of these plagues while they lived in Goshen; which was part of Egypt. The plagues included flies covering the land, dead livestock everywhere, total destruction of their crops, trees, vegetation, animals, and people, as the result of a hailstorm, and the plague of darkness that lasted for three full days.
In Exodus 8:20, Moses went before Pharaoh to warn him about the flies—the fourth plague—but he resisted. In verse twenty-two and twenty-three, God said, “And in that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there, in order that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the land. I will make a difference between My people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall be.”
The Israelites were untouched by this hideous plague. But the bible goes on to say the flies came into the houses and that they covered the land. There are so many symbolisms in this story of God’s protection and deliverance for us today in Christ if you have accepted Him as Savior.
The fifth plague to come upon the land was diseased livestock. Exodus 9:4-6 describes this event as it did the plague of flies. God said in verse 4 that He would make a difference between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt. He finished by saying, “Nothing shall die that belongs to children of Israel.” Verse six says that “all” of the livestock of Egypt died, but of the livestock of Israel, not one died.
The seventh plague to be released was hail. In Exodus 9:25-26 it says that the hail struck throughout the land of Egypt. It struck every man and animal in the fields, as well as every herb and every tree. Nothing was left! Verse 26 says, “…in the land of Goshen where the children of Israel were, there was no hail.”
The last plague mentioned in Exodus 10:21-23 is darkness. In the original Hebrew language, it literally means a darkness that is so thick and heavy that it can actually “be felt”. Interestingly, the word darkness here is the same Hebrew word used for darkness in Isa. 60:2 that describes the spiritual darkness upon the earth in the last days.
And once again, just as before, God performed a supernatural sign. Verse twenty-three of Exodus 10 says, “But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.”
How Do I Get to Goshen?
No matter where we’re living in this world today, we can all live in Goshen (God’s kingdom) if we choose to; but it WILL cost us something! It’s important to understand that Egypt is symbolic of today’s world view on everything. Commerce, lifestyle, morals, entertainment, appetites, economy, fashion, etc. Today’s view for the most part is self-indulgent, self-absorbing, and excessive. In other words, do whatever makes you feel good at the moment with no regard for accountability to authority over you, or how it affects someone else.
You don’t have to be a prude to live in Goshen, but you do you have to have your mind renewed to God’s way of thinking in order to enjoy the benefits of that land (see Romans 12:1-2). Goshen, or God’s kingdom, operates on an entirely different set of laws than this temporal, carnal world does. You cannot successfully navigate the darkness of this world’s age without knowing Who the Light is and how to operate according to His laws.
Starting today, we cannot afford to allow Egyptian thinking to “dumb us down” and limit our faith in Almighty God, Who is superior in every way to disaster, every recession, and every attack of our enemy, regardless of how he comes. If you do, bondage will immediately begin to take up space in your heart, mind, and emotions, and you will not be able to tap into or experience God’s supernatural protection and provision when you need it most.
Goshen Has More Than Enough
God brought this subject of Goshen to my heart a couple of years ago when my pastor’s wife taught on preparing for the coming days. As I was on my way home that evening after church, I heard the Lord clearly say, “Blessings abound in the land of Goshen”. As a result, I began studying it regularly and when I discovered that Goshen meant to draw near, I immediately knew why He spoke that phrase to me.
When the Israelites lived in Goshen, God protected them supernaturally time after time and He did it under the law; which was a significantly inferior covenant compared to what we have in place today. Hebrews 8:6 says now we have a new covenant established on better promises and Jesus is our Mediator.
God protected His people from an evil dictator of that day and He did it under a covenant that was far less promising than what we have right now. Why then, should we not be able to trust Him today to do at least what He did then?
When I was studying for this post, I believe I heard the Holy Spirit tell me the reason few people believe in this concept, including many Christians, is because they’ve never been taught much about it. If few of our spiritual leaders today are actually living and “experiencing” this as an example, how can we as Christians expect to live here unless we take it upon ourselves to be responsible to see it happen in our lives.
I believe God also spoke this to me. He said, “The people of this age have not seen, nor do they begin to really understand My power. I AM literally untapped and have unlimited reservoirs of power, abilities, and resources. And yet, I choose to supernaturally limit Myself to what you’re able to believe! I love you, therefore, I respect your decision to believe Me, or doubt Me. The outcome is totally up to you!
Remember, you cannot live in God’s kingdom and operate in this current culture’s beliefs and appetites and expect to do well. If things are not working for you, it’s not because God is mad at you or is ignoring you. His world simply works differently than this one.
His world operates by spiritual laws of faith, sowing, reaping, obedience, walking in love, denying our fleshly desires and so on. This temporary world that is falling apart as we speak, works by natural laws such as gravity, lift, heat, cold, night, day etc.
It’s not easy to move into the land of Goshen, but it is simple. Just learn to put God first in everything; depend on and trust Him for everything you need…everything!
And you will find yourself living life on a scale that doesn’t compare to anything in this world.
*All scriptures above were taken from the NKJV.