Hurry and go up to my father, and say to him, “Thus says your son Joseph: ‘God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not tarry. You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near to me, you and your children, your children’s children, your flocks and your herds, and all that you have.’” (Genesis 45:9-10)
The word goshen is said to be of uncertain origin even though most believe it to be Egyptian. Some lexicons define it as “drawing near” while others relate it to the Hebrew geshem which means,“rain” or “shower.” It is understood that Goshen is a place of respite and plenty.
In Genesis 46, the word is rendered differently and is pronounced as goshnah. That is very interesting because the letters that form this word — gimel, shiyn, nun and hei — are the same Hebrew letters found on a dreidel. A dreidel is the clay top that is used at Hanukkah to tell of the great miracle that happened so long ago as the Maccabees struggled against the Greeks. The connection to Joseph is this: Joseph’s story is the Torah portion read during Hanukkah.
If we were to combine the themes from the two stories it would look something like this: God always has a plan for His people that requires their participation, often times requiring their willingness to endure affliction and hardship. God always prepares the way for them in advance of moving on their behalf. When the time comes for His purpose to come to pass, He orchestrates the environment, arranges the players and then performs a great miracle for those who serve Him faithfully.
Joseph is the one that God sent ahead of the rest of the family in order to prepare a place for them; a place called Goshen. In order to get there, they had to endure much suffering and much training. However, when the time came, He performed a great miracle whereby they came into the fulfillment of His plan. Consider that, according to Revelation 12, God will prepare a place in the wilderness for the woman who flees from the Dragon. Accordingly, He preserves her there and give her what she needs in order to be sustained.
Finally, Consider that Messiah has gone to prepare a place for those who are to dwell with Him in the Father’s House. As ruler of all, He has the authority to make certain that all who are His will be given respite and sanctuary in the time of His return. In the meantime, it is likely that we will suffer and be compelled to endure hardship. But if we continue to walk faithfully before Him, we can rest assured that there is a Goshen in our future — a place where we will dwell with our children, our children’s children and all that God has entrusted to our care.
Blessings and Shalom,