It was just about a year ago when we discussed the need for water (the precious Holy Spirit) in these unprecedented times of spiritual drought… However, the Lord wants to revisit this meeting in an excerpt that reminds us that we will be held accountable for the “yea’s and nay’s” in our lives.
Joshua, having journeyed with the people of Israel for over 40 years–and into the next generation understands the very nature and the true character of the people that he brought out of the Wilderness and into the Promised Land.
The Covenant at Shechem (Joshua 24: 16-28) “Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! 15And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” 16So the people answered and said: “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; 17for the Lord our God is He who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, who did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way that we went and among all the people through whom we passed. 18And the Lord drove out from before us all the people, including the Amorites who dwelt in the land. We also will serve the Lord, for He is our God.” 19But Joshua said to the people, “You cannot serve the Lord, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. 20If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you, after He has done you good.” 21And the people said to Joshua, “No, but we will serve the Lord!” 22So Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord for yourselves, to serve Him.” And they said, “We are witnesses!” 23“Now therefore,” he said, “put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your heart to the Lord God of Israel.” 24And the people said to Joshua, “The Lord our God we will serve, and His voice we will obey!” 25So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. 26Then Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And he took a large stone, and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. 27And Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be a witness to us, for it has heard all the words of the Lord which He spoke to us. It shall therefore be a witness to you, lest you deny your God.” 28So Joshua let the people depart, each to his own inheritance.
In this exhortation and message, God provides a strong lesson and warning to all of us ‘who believe’ to BE CAREFUL of the vows and promises that we make to the Lord. To be sure in our hearts and certain in our souls that we are and will indeed serve–and continue to go on to know and serve the living God.
Join us for this important ‘throwback’ account of Joshua’s address to the nation…