Covenant: Remember or break it?

Genesis 35:4 – the oaks of Shechem is where they Jacob and his family buried their foreign gods and the rings in their ears
• Where this covenant was first established, where it needed to be renewed
Joshua 24 – the whole chapter is called ‘The Covenant Renewed at Shechem’
• Starts off with God reminding the people of everything he has done since Abraham forward.
o Including the land of promise
o The affliction of Egypt and the release of said affliction
o The afflictions brought upon the Egyptians on behalf of the Israelites
o The return to the land of promise – how it was not their doing but God’s
• Then it is a call to ‘fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshipped beyond the River and in Egypt and serve the Lord.’ He then calls them to choose between the foreign gods and the Lord
o They reply with ‘far be it from us to forsake the Lord to serve other gods!’ they declare publically everything that Joshua just said to them from the Lord.
o Joshua even calls them out on it that if they turn their back on the Lord, He ‘will turn and bring disaster on you…’ to which they keep denying that they will turn their back and they will keep serving the Lord.
o Joshua then made a covenant with the people, wrote in the Book of the Law, and then engraved a stone tablet, set it at the base of the tree which was near the holy place of the Lord.
o The stone is a witness both of the promise they made but also a witness against us if we turn our back on God.
• This place where the covenant first established with Joseph’s father Jacob and was renewed by Joshua is where Joseph’s bones are buried which were carried from Egypt. This land became the inheritance for Joseph’s descendants.
o This rings of legacy, inheritance, a remnant (topic to be discussed later)
The meaning to us
• Recognize everything the Lord has done for us – even going back generations.
• Answer the call with a positive to follow the Lord
• We must stand on the fact that we have chosen to follow the Lord. Set it at our base, to make public that we have decided and keep on deciding to follow Him even when given the multiple opportunities to fall away.
• This oak where they made their testament was near a holy place – we should continually be near a holy place (of the heart), to have planted ourselves near his presence.
• This public display is both a witness for us and AGAINST us. If we continue to follow God then it will show “I wrote it on a stone, I based my life off my choice to follow you” and he will say “well done my good and faithful servant” but if we choose to turn away after we placed the stone at our base then it will show that we knew better. We knew of God’s miracles and glory, we had been near his presence and we decided to leave.

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