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Spiritual Meaning of Goshen

Goshen is a Hebrew word. It’s the name of a region in northeastern Egypt. Goshen was also the name of a slave that lived in Egypt. How is Goshen related to prayer? Prayer changes things. Prayer is effective. Prayer makes changes. Find out how prayer can change your goshen life today!

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Goshen, Egypt, Goshen is a region roughly corresponding to part of the Nile delta. Traditionally it has been considered as the part of Nile delta which was allocated to the Israelites in ancient times. According to the Bible, Goshen was one of the regions of Egypt inhabited by the children of Israel who escaped from enslavement in Ancient Egypt.

Goshen (Hebrew: גוֹשן) is featured in three different books of the Hebrew Bible. Today, this term often refers to a specific location in biblical Israel as well as the wider region. While the Bible provides some information of the city, it can only be gathered by putting together descriptions from various biblical passages referencing Goshen.

Goshen is a place of peace and tranquility. It’s where you go when you need to be centered, when you need a break from the world, or when you just want some time to yourself. Goshen is a place where you can find yourself again—and maybe even discover who you are for the first time.

Goshen is a reference to the city of Goshen in Egypt, where the Israelites were allowed to live during the time of the Pharaohs.

The word goshen is also used to describe places that are sacred or holy, and these places are often used as a symbol for God’s presence with us.

Spiritual Meaning of Goshen

Goshen was a part of Egypt that bordered on the Promised Land that God had given to Abraham for his descendants (Genesis 12:7). The land of Goshen was located in the eastern part of the Nile Delta. Genesis 45:10 is the first mention of Goshen, when Joseph told his brothers to bring their father and settle there. Goshen was far enough from the center of Egyptian life that the influx of Hebrews would not affect daily affairs or Egyptian culture, yet it was still under Egypt’s control. With Pharaoh’s consent (Genesis 47:5), Joseph assigned his family a place near their God-given heritage, possibly so that they would never forget the land that would one day be theirs. Even in Goshen, the Lord prospered the children of Israel and grew their number (Genesis 47:27; Acts 7:17).

Centuries later, the Hebrews had so increased in population that they posed a potential threat to the ruler of Egypt. Goshen was taking on a life of its own, and the Pharaoh feared for his kingdom. It was in Goshen that the Hebrews were enslaved by the Egyptians and forced to make bricks and build cities (Exodus 1:8–11). Even though Goshen was near the Promised Land, it was still Egypt and not the place God wanted His people to establish a nation. He allowed the children of Israel to experience the misery of slavery to motivate them to move when the time came.

When it was time for the Israelites to leave their life of slavery, God raised up Moses to be their leader. Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let the people of Israel go, so God sent plagues upon the land. During the plagues, God differentiated between Goshen and Egypt. Concerning the fourth plague, for example, the Lord said, “On that day I will deal differently with the land of Goshen, where my people live; no swarms of flies will be there, so that you will know that I, the LORD, am in this land” (Exodus 8:22; cf. 9:26).

In the Bible, Egypt was an idolatrous nation in rebellion against God. Although populated by God’s people, Goshen was still part of Egypt. Spiritually, Goshen can represent those worldly places in our lives that we excuse because we are comfortable there and because those places are acceptable to the culture around us. Living in a spiritual Goshen may not be overt sin, but it represents an area of compromise. It’s not where God wants us to be; He has more for us than what’s available in Goshen, and staying there will keep us from becoming all God intends us to be. God often must allow us to experience defeat or pain in our Goshen in order to motivate us to leave. The Promised Land awaits. Wise people are willing to leave their spiritual Goshens and follow the Lord to His better place.

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spirit of goshen

A look at any newspaper will testify that we are living in perilous times.  Many people are worried and concerned about what tomorrow may bring.  However, as children of God, we do not have to be afraid.

In Genesis, it tells us that when Joseph was second in command to Pharoah in Egypt, his family came to Egypt during the famine and settled in a part of Egypt called Goshen.

And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly.  Genesis 47:27 (KJV)

The Israelites eventually ended up as slaves to Pharoah and after more than 400 years, God sent Moses to liberate them.  Because Pharoah’s heart was hard and he would not release the Israelites, horrific plagues came upon the Egyptians.  However, the Israelites in the land of Goshen did not experience any of them.

Exodus 8:20-23 (KJV):

And the Lord said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; lo, he cometh forth to the water; and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve me. Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are. And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth. And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be.

Exodus 9:1-6 (KJV):

Then the Lord said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, and tell him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. For if thou refuse to let them go, and wilt hold them still, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain. And the Lord shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children’s of Israel. And the Lord appointed a set time, saying, To morrow the Lord shall do this thing in the land. And the Lord did that thing on the morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt died: but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one.

Exodus 9:22-26 (KJV):

And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt. And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the Lordrained hail upon the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field. Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.

The children of Israel did not go through the same horrible things that everyone else went through.  In the same way, as His children, we do not have to experience the same hardships as the rest of the world.  The name Goshen is interpreted to mean “draw near.”  As we draw near to God, He protects us.  The economy of the world could be going down the drain, but our finances can be rock solid- even increasing.  Terrorism may have the world trembling, but we will be safe.  Awful outbreaks of deadly and contagious diseases may be running rampant in the earth, but we can maintain robust health.  We don’t have to participate in the world’s hardships because we are in the protective care of Almighty God.  We just have to draw near to God and know He has us covered.

I don’t know about you, but just like the children of Israel, I choose to live in Goshen.  And in the midst of chaos in the world around me, I draw near to Him for total peace and security.  And that peace will not only sustain me, but it will also cause others to want what I have.  

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