A crossroad is a place where we must choose the pathway we will follow. In practical terms, it is a choice to go our own way or to follow the Lord, but there is more to it than that. Ultimately, what is decided when we come to a crossroad in our life is will we reach our destination, the place God planned for us to live our life or will we end up in the wilderness where our life will remain on hold and our destiny unfulfilled until we see that we have made a mistake and want to start over again.
The Israelites gathered in Shechem to renew their covenant with God because it was a crossroad for them. Hundreds of years before they entered the Promised Land and took possession of land, “Jacob came to Shalom, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan…And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent…And he erected there an altar, and called it El-Elohe-Israel” (Gen 33:18-20).
Unfortunately, things didn’t go well for Jacob and his family in Shechem. After purchasing the parcel of land, it says, “And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and defiled her” (Gen 34:1-2).
The contrasting events of Jacob settling in the land of Canaan and his daughter Dinah being raped illustrate perfectly the dilemma of a crossroad. A choice had to be made. Would Jacob stay in Canaan and continue to worship the LORD at the altar he had erected or would he do as he had every other time he had gotten into trouble, run for his life?
The choice is the same for everyone and if you haven’t come to this crossroad in your life yet, you will eventually. Joshua puts the choice to the Israelites this way:
Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (Joshua 24: 14-15)