Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Joshua 24:25-26 (NIV)
On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and there at Shechem he reaffirmed for them decrees and laws. And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the Lord.
Joshua 24:25-26 (MSG)
Joshua completed a Covenant for the people that day there at Shechem. He made it official, spelling it out in detail. Joshua wrote out all the directions and regulations into the Book of The Revelation of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up under the oak that was in the holy place of God.
“So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance at Shechem. And Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak that was in [the courtyard of] the sanctuary of the Lord.” -AMPLIFIED
Joshua takes the time to do a quick review of Israel’s history for the people in Joshua 24. He starts from Father Abraham and works his way through their sojourn in Egypt, their wandering through the desert and their crossing over the Jordan into their Promised Land. There was even a reminder of the conquering of the land; the battles and the conquests.
Joshua gets to the bottom line of his message to the people. “So remember: fear the Eternal and serve Him sincerely and faithfully. Put away from you any gods your ancestors served across the Euphrates River or in Egypt, and serve only Him. If you decide that you’re not willing to serve Him, then today is the day for you to choose whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors bowed to in the land beyond the great River, or the gods of the Amorites whose country you possess. But as for me and my family, we will serve the Eternal.” -Joshua 24:14-15 (VOICE)
Here is that statement that has stood strong through the ages, “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” -(NIV) Joshua takes his stand and he is not afraid to let everyone know.
We find the people chiming in agreement with Joshua, “We’d never forsake God! Never! We’d never leave God to worship other gods. God is our God! He brought up our ancestors from Egypt and from slave conditions. He did all those great signs while we watched. He has kept his eye on us all along the roads we’ve traveled and among the nations we’ve passed through. Just for us he drove out all the nations, Amorites and all, who lived in the land. Count us in: We too are going to worship God. He’s our God.” -Joshua 24:16-28 (MSG)
Now Joshua uses a little reverse psychology on the people; possibly because he felt they were being a bit overconfident in their declaration. “If you think you will be able to serve the Eternal, you are wrong. He is a holy God and a jealous God; He will not tolerate your shortcomings and your sins. If you desert Him and worship these foreign gods, He will fall upon you and totally consume you, even though He has done all this great good for you.” -Joshua 24:19-20 (VOICE)
The people respond, “No! No! We worship God!” (MSG) Basically responding, “We can do it! We have chosen to worship only Jehovah!”
Ah, Joshua has gotten them exactly where he wanted them. They have now committed themselves to remain faithful to serve the One True God. Now he has then renew their covenant with God, “So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day at Shechem and gave them statutes and ordinances to obey. Joshua wrote the words in the scroll of the law, and he had a large stone set up underneath the oak tree near the Eternal’s holy place.” -Joshua 24:25-26 (VOICE)
It is important not only to remain true to God, but to understand what our commitment entails. Joshua laid out exactly what would be expected of them and also where he stood on the matter. He was committed; they had to choose whether they would be committed. We find that they chose to renew their covenant with God and Joshua pointed out that they and the stone they stood by to renew their vow were witness to this it. God would hold them to their promise.
Know and understand what you have gotten yourself into. God is not happy with half-hearted, once in a while worship and service. When we give ourselves to Him He requires all of us. Remember, we are to worship the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind. With everything that is within us. Have you truly counted the cost? Are you willing to give Him your all?
Father, take all of me; I hold nothing back. I have counted the cost and what I want is You! Nothing else compares to you. No one else will stay with me through thick and thin like you do. No one else cares like you do. Lord, I have counted the cost and you are worth my all. Take my all, Lord, I am 100% yours!