Short Thought continued.....

Altars

 

On a recent visit to Cyprus, I visited the Tomb of Kings in Paphos, a necropolis

(large ancient graveyard) where underground tombs had been dug in the rock.

As I wandered around the thing that caught my attention was an area

filled with stones placed one on top of the other, like altars.

 

The LORD reminded me of this scripture:

“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)

 

This verse is at the end of one of my favourite chapters in one of my favourite books.

Joshua had called the Israelites to turn away from idolatry and 

‘fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness’ (Joshua 24:14), 

to whole-heartedly follow the God of Israel.

He alone understood the seriousness of their response to his call. 

He showed them three times what was required of them:  

‘fear the Lord and throw away the gods your ancestors worshipped;  

serve the Lord; yield your hearts to Him.’

(Joshua 14:23)

 

Three times the Israelites respond: 

“We too will serve the Lord, because He is our God.” (v.18); 

“No! We will serve the Lord.” (v.21); 

“We will serve the Lord our God and obey Him.” (v.24)

 

I am reminded of Peter and his thrice-denial of Christ. 

I am reminded of my own declarations of allegiance to Jesus

that are not perfectly followed through in my actions.

I reflect: what does the Lord require of me today?

The response comes to my spirit: I know what I have to do.  

I take three stones that I collected on a Cypriot beach, 

and sit under a large oak, and wait for the Lord to speak.

As I wait, I write these words, one on each stone:

Justice. Mercy. Humility.

I write them on the stones and I leave them under the tree, as witness to my renewal of covenant, 

“to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

(Micah 6:8)

 

I wonder:

What does the LORD require of you today?

What do you need to turn away from?

What covenant is He asking you to renew?

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