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Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Joshua 24 : 1-27

“But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD." -Joshua 24:15 [NLT]

After the successful conquest of Canaan, Joshua the veteran Leader had assembled the people of Israel to the valley of Shechem (Joshua 24:1). This was a solemn occasion in which he took time to remind them the history of this young nation and how God had brought them to this point. It is a covenant renewal at Shechem.

Shechem-Cradle of the Nation:

God's choices are always perfect. Here Shechem is chosen by God, where the young nation is to covenant with the Lord. This place has a lot of significance in the life of people of Israel. Lots of significant occurrences has been repeated throughout the generations.

1.Abram receives the Promises from God:

After his sojourning from Haran according to the command of God, Abram came up to this place in Shechem. Genesis 12:6-7: Abram traveled through the land as far as Shechem. There he set up camp beside the oak of Moreh. …. said, "I will give this land to your descendants. "

Shechem is the place where God gave the promise to Abram that ‘I will give this land to your descendants.’ Now the promises are fulfilled exactly as God had promised to their forefather Abram and they are now standing on the land as owners of it. A faithful and promise keeping God is now asking His people to choose for themselves, whom they will follow? Now onwards this Nation is going to move forward to fulfill their destiny as Servants of the living God. The future of this nation hangs on this choice.

2. Jacob and family buried their idols in Shechem: (Genesis 35:1-4)

Gen 35:4 :So they gave Jacob all their pagan idols and earrings, and he buried them under the great tree near Shechem.

It was here that Jacob and family purified themselves from all pagan gods and started their journey to Bethel. So it was significant location where the choice was made by their ancestors to obey and follow God and remove idolatrous practices among them. Here God is giving them the choice to choose for themselves.

3. Valley between Mount of blessing & Mount of curse:

Again this was the historic location where the choice was given for the people to choose blessing or curse. On both sides of Shechem lies the mountains Ebal & Gerizim. It is here the Law was rehearsed and given the choice to choose between 'Blessings' or 'Curses.'

A valley of decision:

So Shechem is truly a valley of decision. Dear reader, are you in this position today?

  • Christ or Belial?

  • Spirit or Flesh?

  • Word of God or Vanities of this World?

  • God's work or Secular choices?

  • True riches or Mammon?

Many are choices that we are called to make on a daily basis. We are truly in the valley of decision. Prophet Joel talks about it— Joel 3:14: Thousands upon thousands are waiting in the valley of decision. There the day of the LORD will soon arrive.

Many of us are good hearers but fail to make a willful choice. Every occasion passes by undecided. It’s the same that happened on Mount Carmel. God has beautifully displayed who he is to the people of Israel. But they were indecisive. What about you?

Decision: Prayerfully let us submit and surrender our lives like Joshua and his family:- “But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD!"

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