When the Lord called and separated Abraham there were no such people called Jews. We were the human race. Adam and Eve weren’t the first Jews, they were the first humans. Abraham was a heathen from Mesopotamia, Hur of the Chaldean. There was also no such thing as circumcision. God wanted to distinguish a group of people through whom He could demonstrate His goodness, and they in turn would teach the people of the world who He is by their worship of Him. God is a covenant God. He enjoys family. He loves having a relationship with His creation. But we haven’t always reciprocated. No matter what He’s done for us, somehow we manage to disappoint Him.
The covenant of circumcision, instituted by God through Abraham, means to cut, or cut away. He had found His man. Someone who would be faithful to do all God asked of Him. Every covenant is made with blood. If it’s a meaningful covenant that is. It’s painful but necessary if it’s to last. It requires that both parties agree to honor the covenant by keeping their vows. The first circumcision we read about is in Genesis 17. God was about to establish a nation like no other on the earth. A people who would be like no other. He chose someone who He knew wouldn’t be a covenant breaker. Abraham was as loyal as they come. Especially as it pertains to family. God called him to leave all his family except for his wife. It took the death of his father for him to partially obey because he brought his nephew Lot with him. Then God waited for him and Lot to separate before repeating the promise. He was, as God pointed out, faithful over all his house -Genesis 18:19
“This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your posterity after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be a token or sign of the covenant (the promise or pledge) between Me and you. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male throughout your generations, whether born in [your] house or bought with [your] money from any foreigner not of your offspring. He that is born in your house and he that is bought with your money must be circumcised; and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the male who is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”
“And Abraham took Ishmael his son and all who were born in his house and all who were bought with his money, every male among [those] of Abraham's house, and circumcised [them] the very same day, as God had said to him. And Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised. And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised. On the very same day Abraham was circumcised, and Ishmael his son as well. And all the men of his house, both those born in the house and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised along with him.”
Genesis 17:10-14 & 23-27 AMPC
This covenant of circumcision has continued to this day especially among the Jews. But the Lord would much prefer that their hearts were circumcised to receive His Truth. I know the females in my audience are probably thinking that this message is for men only, but just stick with me here. It’s not just for men, it's for us too. Ouch. Circumcision ceased during the time of rebellion and wandering in the wilderness, but God never forgets a covenant. So before Joshua could cross over to the promised land in fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant, circumcision had to be reinstituted. Joshua 5. Circumcision brings renewed fellowship and communion with the Lord. It brings us back into favor with Him. It’s the painful cutting away of excess. It’s the removal of anything that impedes the covenant. We will learn more later of how it applies to us all, males and females.
Since circumcision was the sign of the covenant which involved this universal blessing, it had significance beyond its observance as a national rite. Genesis 18:18 God knew that for the whole world to benefit from this covenant, it would require more than a physical cutting away of foreskins to the cutting away of the excesses of the heart. He foretells the plan of man’s redemption through Jesus Christ in this verse in Deuteronomy. The flesh profiteth nothing, no good thing comes from the flesh alone. The flesh must give way to the Spirit. The outward demonstration of the covenant must now move inward. Circumcision of the heart is more meaningful than the removal of the foreskin of man. We can cut but it doesn’t equate to meaningful change. Inward change always leads to outward obedience. “Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer.”
Deuteronomy 10:16 NKJV
See ladies ? I told you we were included.
“And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.”
Deuteronomy 30:6 NKJV
God didn’t circumcise the Jews, they did that themselves outwardly, but it was supposed to mean something inwardly as well. But God knew that the only way it would work successfully, is if it were followed up with the foreskin of the heart going through the same cutting away process. It’s purely and exclusively the work of the Holy Spirit. God in His wisdom knew that it was impossible to keep the requirements of the law perfectly, we needed help. A changed heart was the only answer. He sees past the facade. He knows when we’re showboating like the Jews were. We all needed a heart transplant. Isaiah wrote:
“But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.”Isaiah 64:6 NKJV
Let’s read what the apostle Paul had to say about true circumcision. He picked up on what God told Israel needed to be done in order that the unbreakable covenant would be extended to all of Abraham’s descendants. Galatians 3:29
“For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.”
Romans 2:28-29 NKJV
Hallelujah! That's us! We have received the true circumcision. Our hearts have been cauterized by the blood of Jesus by His Spirit. The excess foreskin has been forever cut away. He didn’t ask us to do it, because we cannot. But we can allow the inner change to transform and control how we live outwardly in the world. As children of the covenant, we’re supposed to show others who our God is. That’s the whole reason for us being chosen and set apart. It’s not so we can boast and say “look at me” it’s that we can say “Look at Him!” Christ in us the hope of glory. Hallelujah! Romans 8:11
We have a promise from God the Father that whoever receives His Son Jesus will receive a circumcised heart. That’s the work of the Holy Spirit. We cannot change ourselves by removing the outer foreskin, we need much more. A life surrendered to Jesus is the only way. So have you been circumcised? Or are you boasting about your cut in the flesh? Remember, you’re a true Christian inwardly. The place where God knows the real you. Let Him cut away the foreskin of your heart and become an heir of the covenant. Is the following scripture your reality today? I pray so.🙏
“In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”
Colossians 2:11-14 NKJV
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit
September 27, 2021