Forget Egypt, Look to Canaan, And Live in Goshen!
By Allen J. Huth, President of the Ezra Project |
I am reminded of a familiar Bible story. I read it a few months ago as Terry and I started reading the Old Testament at the beginning of the year. It’s found in the book of Exodus. After the Jews had witnessed the 10 plagues in Egypt, experienced that first Passover, and been led by God Himself as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, they find themselves camping in the desert. They hear the rumble of Egyptian chariots in the distance. Let’s pick up the story in Exodus 14:10…
“And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the LORD. Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.” It always seems easier to look back to “Egypt” than to look forward to Canaan, and the promises of God.
Verses 13-14 declare, “And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” The Lord will fight for us!
Verses 19-20 say, “And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them. So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night.” The Angel of God came between them. To one it was darkness, to the other it was light! What do you see in the battle? Do you see God move between you and the enemy? Do you see darkness or do you see light as God fights for you?
Exodus 14:15 says, “And the LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me?” Why do we cry out to God? Why do we sometimes keep pleading, when God has already shown Himself glorious many times in our lives; yet, we freeze, we stand still, we look back to Egypt. “Tell the children of Israel to go forward.” He already told you he will fight for you! Go forward!
There is crisis everywhere. Economic collapse, millions have lost their jobs, millions have lost their homes, many have seen their investments diminish, morality is falling before our very eyes, and politicians have no answers…sounds a bit like Egypt! Where were the Jews, when all the plagues were badgering Egypt? They were in Goshen:
- “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.” (Exodus 8:22-23)
- “And the LORD will make a difference between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt. So nothing shall die of all that belongs to the children of Israel.” (Exodus 9:3-4)
- “Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, there was no hail.” (Exodus 9:26)
- “But against none of the children of Israel shall a dog move its tongue, against man or beast, that you may know that the LORD does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.” (Exodus 11:6-7)
Forget Egypt, look to Canaan and the promises of God found in the Bible. Read everyday those great stories of old to build your faith. In the midst of plagues, turmoil, crisis, there is Goshen where God protects His own. Go forward! He fights for us! Forget Egypt, look toward Canaan, and live in Goshen!