If you’ve been following these posts, you are aware that I’m working my way through the Bible in one year. I’m a little behind now, and I used the weekend to do some catching up. While studying Exodus, a book I desperately love, I ran up on Moses and Aaron requesting Pharaoh to release the Israelites so that they could worship God. As you may recall, God sent a series of plagues upon Egypt, each more consuming and more significant than the next as Pharaoh’s stubbornness solidified. As Moses lifted his staff to the skies and God sent forth hail on the land of Egypt, there was one verse that struck me in a particularly interesting way. It reads, “The hail hit hard all over Egypt. Everything exposed out in the fields, people and animals and crops, was smashed. Even the trees in the fields were shattered. Except for Goshen where the Israelites lived; there was no hail in Goshen.(Exodus 9:26). I was sitting in a nail shop reading this and I nearly lost it completely! I’ve read the entirety of Moses’ narrative before, but as I’ve been told, if we remain in this Word long enough God will reveal new mysteries and considerations tailored made to our understanding and experiences; which sparked my thinking, “How grateful are you for your except for Goshen moments?”
Goshen moments are when all hell is breaking out around you, near you, impacting people, places and things in your vicinity, and you find yourself safe. The fact that we serve a God who has the capacity and propensity to do this is sheer incomprehensible. Yet, it happens much more frequently than we realize, and dare I say more than we can grasp with our limited knowledge. The Israelites were in bondage, to be sure, and yet amidst calamity, what they owned and possessed was not interrupted. When we serve God and place the significance of that relationship in light of how we move about in the earth, we will experience more “except for Goshen” moments. They may not always show up like the testimonies of old in a testifying service (remember those), but they should make an appearance in our prayers, our gratitude and service toward others as appreciation of God keeping us sheltered from the “could have and should have” events of life.
This week, our daughter struck a vehicle that turned out in front of her. The driver of the vehicle kept going, which led us to believe that they either weren’t insured, not licensed or perhaps it wasn’t their car. Whichever the case, both of her airbags deployed. Now our family is no stranger to car accidents, but she has never navigated one on her own. She handled it brilliantly and when I saw the car, I immediately knew we experienced a “except of Goshen” moment. Clearly the impact was as likened to the hailstorm, but inside of her vehicle, it was as though she was driving in Goshen because she was not harmed! I type through tears because it could have been another way – but God!!!! He saw fit to keep her sheltered and for such and all these things, I am grateful.
The portion that we mustn’t neglect is throughout Exodus, whenever Moses and Aaron entered conversation with Pharaoh, their request persisted, to free the Israelites so they could worship God. I chose to lift up one of the plagues, but as you know there were many, each connected to the same recourse – to worship. I would suggest this provides a beautiful example of what God’s expectations remain of us, whether encamped in a storm of life so to speak, or not. And as I consider all the “except for Goshen” moments in my life, I am compelled to give God all the glory! He keeps us in our righteous mind when everything around us is at trauma induced capacity. Things around you may not be ideal. They may actually resemble, metaphorically the plagues upon Egypt. But this thing I know. God has the capacity and desires to keep you as though you reside in Goshen. Now worship.