33 And it shall come to pass, when Pharaoh shall call you, and shall say, What is your occupation?
34 That ye shall say, Thy servants’ trade hath been about cattle from our youth even until now, both we, and also our fathers: that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians.
Several years ago, I heard the Lord witness to my heart, “Make certain you are dwelling in Goshen.” Goshen was significant, because even when severe judgment came upon the nation in which they lived, God’s people were safe in Goshen. Just a few weeks ago, I began to be impressed with “The Joseph Principle.” We are facing challenging days ahead, and I believe that we can draw some lessons from the life of Joseph that will equip us to walk in victory through the times that are coming.
In the passage above, Joseph was about to present his family to Pharaoh and he instructed them regarding what they were to say. Never forget that if you are going to walk in overcoming victory despite the situations that may surround you, it is vitally important to take charge of what you say. Victory or defeat can be determined by what comes out of the hole under your nose. James tells us that our tongue is like the rudder guiding the ship (James 3:4-5). Be certain that you are only speaking what God has said, and what He has instructed you to say.
Joseph said to his family, “When you stand before Pharaoh, this is what you say, in order that you may dwell in Goshen.” “Egypt” in many places in Scripture is a “type” or a symbol for the “world system.” When we stand before the “world” it is important what we say. What we say can make certain that we are established in Goshen.
Notice what Joseph told his family to say to the Ruler of Egypt. Be up front, and declare, “We are shepherds.” Now this occupation was considered “abominable” by the Egyptians at this point in history, so such an admission would guarantee that Joseph’s family (and their descendants) would be “separated” from the Egyptians. Because of this “separation,” several centuries after Joseph was dead, God’s people were protected from the judgment that came upon the rest of the land. Their “separation” became the basis of their “preservation.” Not only that, but we can also see that the obedience of one generation provided deliverance for a future generation.
The first foundational “Joseph Key” to make certain you are dwelling in Goshen in the days ahead, is found in this simple instruction from Joseph to his family. When you stand before Egypt, be up front about who you are. Do not compromise your identity merely to be “accepted” by the Egyptians. Do not water down who God has called you to be. Yes, you will be an “abomination” to many who are caught up in the world-system mindset. They will call you “haters,” “homophobic,” “intolerant,” “fanatical” and “unenlightened.” And those are just a few of the nicer appellations. But better to be criticized for conviction than ridiculed for hypocrisy. Dr. Ed Cole said, “Whatever you compromise to keep, you will eventually lose.” In the days to come it is imperative that we be people of integrity before God and before man!
Be certain that your “identification” will bring “separation.” But, like Israel of old, the day will come when that “separation” will be the key to your “preservation,” and not only yours, but potentially that of many others as well. Be Blessed!