On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and there at Shechem he reaffirmed for them decrees and laws. (Josh. 24:25)

As a kid, I remember being asked to clean or dust the furniture in the living room. I hated that task. Often, I would clean the top of a coffee table without dusting off the wooden legs. Sure enough, my mother would rightly tell me I had not cleaned the whole coffee table and made me do it again.

The moral of the Shechem story is quite similar for those who follow the Lord: Clean well! The instructions Joshua gave regarding throwing away foreign gods was not a suggestion. It was not a simple renunciation of allegiance. The people were to bring idols and images to Joshua to be destroyed. In fact, that instruction is stressed twice in our passage of study. The conclusion of the people of Israel’s covenant at Shechem was really like a solemn renewal of the covenant made at Sinai. Serve God only and have no other gods or idols in your lives. None. Zero.

God does not want us to dabble here and there with this god or that idol. He does not want sporadic, random dedication and commitment. He wants us to get off of the fence and serve him wholeheartedly. To do so, we must get rid of the idols, anything contrary to the ways and mind of God, in our lives.

Ask God to clean it all, from top to bottom.

Jim Dunn is the president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.