I have created both a song and two paintings to reflect what I have been learning about the Biblical location know as Shechem. Here is a music video I made for the song.
Reading about this place has had a significant impact on who I am and has shaped my perspective of today’s society and how I am to live in it. Within this song, there are various themes that reflect how far society has fallen from the love of Christ and his grand plan for us.
Historically speaking, due to its central position and the memories of Abraham, Jacob’s Well and the tomb of Joseph, the city was destined to play an important part in the history of Israel. It was the first capital of the Kingdom of Israel and a place where Israel earnestly committed to follow God and also blatantly turned their back on Him. After crossing the Jordan River, Joshua fulfilled Moses’ command and assembled the Israelites here, encouraging them to keep their faith by relating the blessings that would follow, and warning them of the curses that would befall them if they transgressed the Mosaic laws.
Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel and for their heads and their judges and their officers; and they presented themselves before God. (Joshua 24:1)
He then retells and reminds the Israelites of their epic tale of how and why they are standing in the promise land as free men. He continues by earnestly asking them to choose “who they would serve.” As you read, project the following scene in your mind…thousands of people gathered, Joshua yelling so the crowd can hear him, the people vehemently cheering, the mass collectively dedicating their lives to Christ. Read it carefully, this is beautiful!
Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.
“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
The people answered and said, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD to serve other gods; for the LORD our God is He who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and who did these great signs in our sight and preserved us through all the way in which we went and among all the peoples through whose midst we passed. The LORD drove out from before us all the peoples, even the Amorites who lived in the land. We also will serve the LORD, for He is our God.
Then Joshua said to the people, “You will not be able to serve the LORD, for He is a holy God He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgression or your sins. If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you after He has done good to you.”
The people said to Joshua, “No, but we will serve the LORD.”
Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen for yourselves the LORD, to serve Him.” And they said, “We are witnesses.”
“Now therefore, put away the foreign gods which are in your midst, and incline your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel.”
The people said to Joshua, “We will serve the LORD our God and we will obey His voice.”
So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. And 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.
Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be for a witness against us, for it has heard all the words of the LORD which He spoke to us; thus it shall be for a witness against you, so that you do not deny your God.” (Joshua 24:14-27)