This week, we discussed the last step in God’s process before we are ready to begin seizing the promises of the “Promised Land.” After crossing over the Jordan river and before
God gives Joshua a very strange instruction. In Joshua 5:2 He tells Joshua to
have all of the men circumcised. Ouch! Jericho
Does God realize that the odds are already stacked against them since they are not a trained army? Then they will be expected to go to battle after being circumcised?!? But, as He always does, God has a reason for His instruction. You see, the Israelites had been in the wilderness for 40 years. Very few of them had been circumcised – and it was time to get things in order before the action begins. But why was circumcision so important to God?
In Genesis 15:18, God made a covenant with Abraham that promised him descendants as well as this
. Then, after
Abraham had tried to get God’s promise HIS own way (Hagar / Ishmael), God spoke
to him again in Genesis 17 about doing it the right way. He then said that all
of Abraham’s household must be circumcised. Ouch again! land
There are a few reasons for this. One is that blood is always tied to covenant--Abraham with an animal sacrifice and circumcision, Moses the same (as well as animal sacrifices in the tabernacle), and even Jesus who, as our perfect high priest, not only made a sacrifice for us but BECAME the sacrifice for us. His blood seals the New Covenant. So blood seals covenant. But why did God want blood from that particular place? Well, He also says that circumcision is a mark or a sign. But why put that mark in a place that no one else is going to see (except for the one person in a covenant relationship with you, your spouse)? The sign is for you – not others.
But this still does not answer why this mark needed to be on the reproductive organ. It was a sign and reminder to man that we are in partnership with God. We create and produce together – not apart and not with other gods. Just as when a married couple joins together, and (if the woman has not been with any other man) there is a blood exchange. That exchange seals the covenant relationship, and it says that this womb and this seed are one. No one else will sow into this womb, and this seed will not be sown in any other womb.
God wants us to be in that kind of relationship with Him. Before we go and seize all of the promises, we need to be reminded that we are in partnership. We create together. God is going to give us some seemingly strange methods to obtaining victory. We must trust Him and stay in partnership with Him if we are to experience success.
Now, for us, physical circumcision is not the sign or mark. Now, it is a circumcision of the heart. God said in Deuteronomy 30:6 that the time was coming when He would move the location of the circumcision to the heart of man. Then in Romans 2:29, Paul states that we are not children of God not by an outward mark, but a circumcision of the heart.
Our heart is the core of our being. It is where the things we create begin. We must remember that our heart is circumcised for God and that we should only allow His seed into it. If there is seed that is in conflict with His Word in there, it needs to be washed away in the blood of Jesus. If the wrong things have been sown in our hearts, we need to stop watering them and pray for “crop failure.” Make the commitment to be much more careful about what gets sown in your heart , and you will see that you begin to create a much better life in partnership with Him.