You will recall I started this series last Sunday with an article titled ‘How we got to Goshen.’ If you missed it you can read it up on http://www.foladaniel.wordpress.com. I simply explained how the Children of Israel started their physical journey to Goshen through the family of Jacob when there was famine. I also mentioned that Joseph had been strategically placed in Egypt before his brothers came and he negotiated the place called Goshen for the Children of Israel.
Before all of these physical events began to happen, it is also important to remember that there had been a pronouncement from God to Abraham that his children were going to be slaves in a foreign land. Without the pronouncement I do not think we will be talking about the children of God in a strange land.
Having said that, we also need to take a good look at some of the things that brought them to Goshen, what happened while they were there and how they nearly forgot that Goshen was not the Promised Land for them.
God had foreseen a famine that was going to hit the land. Because he is the God that has it all planned out, he made provisions for his children before they could think about making provisions for themselves. The provision, ironically, was for Joseph to go into the land of slavery ahead of his brothers. He went there and became the solution to the problem of the land. Many people have only seen the interpretation of dreams by Joseph as a gift he used for Pharoah which made him the Prime Minister. Much more than being the Prime Minister and his brothers coming to bow to him, God strategically used him to preserve the nation of Israel! They would have died of hunger if there was no one to sell food to them or if the person in charge of food in Egypt had refused to sell food to them. So it is established that God brought them into Egypt for that moment to preserve them and to also fulfill what he said about them going into slavery.
While they were in Goshen, it did not start out like slavery. It looked like a government reserved area. They enjoyed so many things from God. There was a covenant of protection and there was peace. There was abundance of food coming to them from the camp of Joseph. No one could also touch them because they were the Prime minister’s kinsmen. Eventually Joseph died and as expected, the story began to change. You know what the Bible says? The Bible made us understand in Exodus chapter 1 verse 8 that there arose a king in Egypt who did not know Joseph. A reference was also made to that story in Acts 7 verse 17 to 23 and more. The reference also talks about how God raised a savior for them.
When the new King arose, the children of Israel suffered. They were in pains. They could not bear it at some point and they remembered that this land that they were in was not actually their land. That was when they remembered that Goshen was a transition point for them but they had made it a bus stop. When they came to this knowledge they cried out to God for help. Interestingly at the time they were crying out for help, it was thirty years after they were due for freedom. So they suffered extra thirty years for no reason or maybe for lack of knowledge or maybe for not speaking out early enough. It was also after they spoke out that God raised Moses as a savior for them to lead them out of the land.
In that period when God raised Moses as their deliverer, we saw the many terrible things that happened in Egypt but never happened in Goshen. So despite the fact that they were in slavery, God still protected them. God also killed all the firstborn in Egypt but He simply asked the Children of Israel to sprinkle blood on their lintel. So long as they had blood on their lintel the angel of death would pass by and no one in their house was touched.
Now the problem was that the children of Israel got too comfortable because they were in Goshen. That was probably why they spent thirty extra years in slavery. They got protection and got carried away by it. They got food and got carried away by that. Many of us to have been carried away by the things there were just provisions of God for us in the mean time. We then lost out on the bigger things because we got stuck with the smaller ones.
I guess it was the King that did not know Joseph that even gave Israelites a jolt out of their sleep. If there was no trouble for them and their works were not made harder, they would not have remembered to cry out to God and ask for deliverance.
Let me bring the point home by listing the issues at Goshen this way:
1. The children of Israel forgot that Goshen was a transition point for them.
2. They enjoyed God and forgot that Goshen was still in Egypt.
3. They remembered they were in slavery only when a King who did not know their father arose. That means they remembered to cry out to God because they had lost the privileges they used to get by being associated with Joseph.
4. After their cry God raised Moses as a Saviour. When their punishments were doubled by the King because of the negotiations from Moses, they turned against the man that God sent to them after they cried for help.
5. Even though they thought they had abundance and that God was still giving them all they wanted, they realized they could get much more than they had when they were about to leave Goshen. They asked for anything from the Egyptians and they got it.
When you look at all these things, they are the same things happening to us today. We get into some situations and we think we have arrived not knowing or forgetting that they are transition points for us. Many of us all enjoy the things that we have so much and really do not want to move forward anymore.
The only reason I have brought this up is to remind ourselves that Goshen may have been good when God needed a place to still keep covenants with his children. There are sweet things we will enjoy in Goshen but it is still not our place of rest. Get up today and don’t pitch a permanent tent in a temporary provision of God like the Israelites wanted to do! Always remember that Goshen – where you are – is good but Canaan – a better place – is the promise.
Fola Daniel Adelesi
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