From Genesis to Acts the name Shechem comes up repetitively. Sometimes it’s a person’s name, at others the name of a place. Both good things and bad happened at Shechem. And I’m convinced that due to the repetition of the name alone that there are deeper, spiritual, even prophetic truths to be gleaned from a study of Shechem. I wish I had something like that to share with you, but I don’t. But there is something very practical that did come to mind as I thought about Shechem and the way it keeps cropping up in scripture: One of the ways that God speaks to us is through repetition.
I think that for all of us there are times when we think to ourselves, “I’ve been here before.” Perhaps we recognize that we’ve visited the same “place” multiple times, sometimes many years apart. And then once more we find ourselves there again. A different scenario, different people- same place. Or maybe it’s a particular verse or section of the Bible that keeps coming up over and over. The Spirit puts it on your mind, then in your car, on the radio, something about that verse is said again. Later, you’re talking to someone, and the theme is repeated. Or it could be that a particular trial comes around again and again. Whatever the case may be, I believe it’s important that we recognize that God utilizes repetition to speak with us. (I believe you’ll find that this bears out in scripture as well.)
Most of us recognize that God speaks to us through the Bible, the voice of the Spirit in our hearts, and through other members of the Body of Christ. But I think many of us may ignore (or maybe have just never considered) the voice of the Lord in “divine repetition.” Think about it: repetition is pretty much how we learn everything in life. It was through the consistent repetition of hearing our parents speak that we ourselves learned to talk. How often did you repeat the multiplication tables to learn them? What about the alphabet song? Acquiring work skills, mastering a craft requires repetitive endeavor. But perhaps you’ve never really thought about the fact that God utilizes repetition as a means to speak to you, to work in your life, and to indicate his will.
If you find yourself running into “Shechem” over and over again take a moment to stop, and ask why? Ask God to give you wisdom as to why this (whatever it may be) keeps occurring. It could well be that He is teaching you, desiring to effect change in you through a repetitive theme. Perhaps in your previous visits to Shechem you were unwilling to stay long enough to learn what He wanted to teach you. So, here you are again. And I’ll bet you that you’ll keep coming back until you “get it.” (I know I do.) How many times have you asked yourself, “Why am I always running into people who…?” It could be that it’s not about them, but rather a work God desires to do in you by repeatedly bringing such people into your life. May be you’re seeking God’s will about a particular direction for your life. Pay attention to repetitive themes that occur during this time.
Oh yeah, don’t go it alone. Share your thoughts and observations with others in your community, and allow God to use their perspectives to help you. You can bet that they have visited Shechem themselves. As you walk with Jesus, yielding yourself and abiding in Him, pay attention to repetition. Sometimes, He speaks that way.
“Pete and Repeat were sitting on a fence. Pete fell off, who was left………………………..?”