Goshen is the name of a few places in scripture. The most well -known is the land the Israelites dwelt in during their time in Egypt (Gen. 47:1 -6). Several blessings came by being in the land of Goshen. Consider three:
First, Goshen became an initial line of defense in keeping the Israelites separated from Egypt ’s pagan culture (Gen. 46:33). To the Egyptian, shepherds were an abomination. Ironically it was not the Israelites whose culture was an abomination, but the pagan Egyptians who worshiped false gods. God provided protection from pagan influence in the land of Goshen.
Second, God provided Goshen for the Israelites during the famine that brought them there (cf. Gen. 47:5 -6. Years before when Joseph ’s brothers sold him as a slave, God was with him (Gen. 39:2, 3, 5, 21, 23). Through God ’s providence, Joseph became second in command of Egypt (Gen. 41:40 -45) to prepare for the famine. When Jacob and his family felt the dire effects of this famine, they found refuge in the land of Goshen because of God ’s provision of Joseph (cf. Gen. 50:20).
Third, Goshen became a testimony to God ’s presence and power during the Exodus. As hordes of flies descended upon Egypt, the land of Goshen was completely free of the infestation (Ex. 8:20 -24). God also spared Goshen during the plagues of hail and darkness (Ex. 9:22 -26; Ex. 10:23). The Israelites in Goshen are spared from God ’s wrath when He saw blood on their doorposts (Ex. 12:1 – 13). God ’s presence and power is seen in Goshen!
In the church, we experience God ’s protection, God ’s provision, and God ’s presence. The church is a front -line defense from God for us! Furthermore, the church is where salvation is found (Acts 4:12; 20:28). We work together to mature (read Ephesians) and wait for God ’s Savior to return (Phil 3:20; Tit. 2:13). The church provides for her own (Acts 2:45, 4:34, 6:1 -7, 2 Cor. 8:1 -8) and God provides for His church (Eph. 1:3; Phil. 4:19). Finally, the church is a testimony to God ’s presence and power. The world ought to know we are Jesus ’ disciples by our love (Jn. 13:34 -35). Jesus indeed is in the midst of the church (Rev. 1:12 -20)!
As we conclude, two questions remain. 1. What does this have to do with being a “Go – Shen” congregation? 2. How does this tie in with article from last week: Friendliness 101? Great questions! As you interact with guests who come to our services, remember we are offering what God has given us – Protection, Provision, and Presence. That is the gospel! Finally, (and you will never forget this now) here is a tip, a 4 -step plan, to engage our guests:
Smile Handshake Eye -Contact Name
Now, Go -SHEN!