IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: THERE IS LIGHT IN THE LAND OF GOSHEN!
Rev. Innocent Chukwudi Peace-Udochukwu President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“but all the sons of Israel had light in their dwellings.”
Goshen: means to approach, to draw near.
What an image of holy separation. What a prefiguration of Christ. What an illustration of the term, “light of the world” – referring to Israel, Christ, and the Church.
“They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings”
Egypt suffered the ten terrible plagues recorded in Exodus in the Bible. But Israel, God’s people, did not suffer any of the plagues.
I want to encourage you with the experience of God’s people in ancient Egypt — that is, that there is light in Goshen!.
Pharaoh had given to Israel the Egyptian territory of Goshen to live in. And there, in Goshen, God’s people were spared much of the suffering from the various plagues. There’s a lesson there for our day: there’s light in Goshen!
There is something glorious here for us. The pagans were struck with darkness and could not rise, could not go out, could not move for three days, but all the children of Israel had light in their homes. The text doesn’t tell us exactly how this worked. It doesn’t say if there was some kind of massive cosmic miracle taking place or if the darkness was simply less intense in Goshen, such that the lanterns and candles actually worked or whether there was some other supernatural light being given. But either way, this moment is glorious. There was thick, paralyzing darkness in Egypt, but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.
“Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you.”
As Christians we have hope that is sure and steadfast because it is anchored on God. For many people their hope is affixed on the temporary things of this world which the Bible says as “hypocrite’s hope”. Job 8:13 – So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish.
“Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not:
And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast:
And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty.”
Goshen was a region in northern Egypt where the Israelites lived from the time of Joseph when he was the Vizier of Egypt till the Exodus. The word ‘Goshen’ means ‘Drawing near’. On the other hand, Egypt is a type of the worldly system that has no respect for God. As such, Goshen is a symbol of being in God’s will in spite of the surrounding ungodly system. Goshen symbolizes an oasis in a desert. It talks about light in darkness and even prosperity in the midst of recession. Goshen reminds us of the fact that there is divine nourishment for us even in the time of famine and chaos.
“You are the light of the world” (Matt 5:14).
God himself is the primary light in all reality (1 John 3:5), and we’re secondary lights reflecting his radiance (just as the moon reflects the sun’s light).The more I ponder the truth that God shines the light of his glory into our world, the more I shudder at what it would be like to live in darkness. Still, that’s how it is for all who turn away from the Lord: “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Rom 1:21). “The light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed” (John 3:19-20).
And yet, when we say “God is light and in him there is no darkness at all” (1John 1:5), the question follows: just what does it mean to experience God’s light? Consider various Scriptures: “Your word is a light to my path”
(Psalm 119:105) — so God helps us take wise steps and make right decisions as we follow the Bible. To learn and follow what Scripture teaches is to live in the light (Ps 119:130). But taking God’s Word lightly is to dwell in darkness.
Satan “has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor 4:4)—so God’s light illumines “the gospel,” allowing us to recognize that Christ is the very presence of our glorious God. And yet the Enemy seeks to cover our eyes—pray for protection! The Messiah gives “light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:79)
—so to receive God’s light is to be delivered from a shadowy, dying existence, and to be led on a pathway of ultimate peace with God. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?”
(Psalm 27:1)—so experiencing God’s “light” is to receive and revel in his saving grace. And that, in turn, is God’s path for us into fearless living.
I will make a clear distinction between my people and your people. This miraculous sign will happen tomorrow.’”
Beloved, whatever may be happening in the world today, you can be bold and fearless because nothing can ever separate you from the love of God, your heavenly Father!
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Just like Jacob had God’s assurance of nourishment, safety and protection in the the land of Egypt, we as believers have nothing to fear in the world as much as we are on the same page with God. Just like he knew that the right place to be was Goshen, we must always realize that the best place to be in every situation is in the very centre of God’s will for our lives.
Our occupation as believers is an abomination to the world. Our desire to do God’s will does not make sense to unbelievers. They cannot comprehend why we have chosen to follow God. They may hate and persecute us but they can only drive us closer and closer unto God.
“And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”
For hundreds of years Israel had been serving as slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt. Then God determined to deliver them from Egyptian bondage and bring them to Canaan, the promised land. Ten plagues were inflicted upon Egypt, after which God’s people were set free by Pharaoh. And very importantly for us today, we take notice that in Exodus chapters 7-12, God spared His people Israel from all the 10 plagues.
“The only place without hail was the region of Goshen, where the people of Israel lived.”
Beloved, in the place of nearness, God makes a difference between His people and the people of the world. We are in this world, but we are not of this world (see John 17:14). We are His. He desires for us to be close to Him so that He can hide us under the shadow of His wings. He paid the price so that we can be called His children. Oh, what manner of love the Father has given unto us, that we should be called the sons and daughters of the Most High (see 1 John 3:1)!
“Neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Beloved, even in the midst of famine, Jesus, our heavenly Joseph, wants us close to Him so He can provide for us. In the book of Exodus, God declared, “I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there” Exodus 8:22
In the land of Goshen, God’s people were protected from all of the ten plagues that besieged the land of Egypt during the time of Moses. In the second last of the ten plagues, a thick, paralyzing darkness covered the land of Egypt for three whole days. Yet, during that time, “all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings”
I believe it was a supernatural darkness that covered Egypt, because the Egyptians must have turned to natural resources of light to dispel the darkness—only to find they couldn’t. By the same token, it was a supernatural light that the Israelites enjoyed in Goshen, a light the darkness tried to smother but couldn’t.
Now, I believe this is prophetic of our times.
We are living in days where we see darkness—Corruptions, killings, impunity and all sorts of evils – a supernatural darkness—cover the earth. Yet, the Scriptures tell us that even when there’s thick and deep darkness all around, the church—you and I, together with our families—can experience and enjoy God’s supernatural light in our dwellings. We, who have been drawn near to Him through the work of His Son, can have intimacy with God and enjoy His protective covering to live fear-free and victoriously in these dark times.
The world will continue to witness turbulent times like never before. Strong nations and economies will collapse. A lot of griefs still await Egypt but Goshen will always serve as a shield. There will be storms but those that draw near to God will always remain standing. We must know that as God’s people, we do not need to fear what the Devil does to His people because we have an anchor that keeps the soul steadfast and sure while the billows role. We must be fastened to the Rock which cannot move. We must be grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.
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