Circumcision in the Promised Land

Joshua 4:22-5:6

Synopsis     Joshua 4:22-5:6     4/14/2018

After building the stone memorial commemorating the crossing of the Jordan on dry ground, Joshua reminded the people to use the memorial as a testimony. They should, he directed, use the monument to inform all the people throughout the world that the God of Israel was mighty.

Upon realizing that Israel had begun the invasion into the land, all the peoples who lived there previously were dispirited. They were in dread of Israel.

At Gilgal, God directed Joshua to have all the uncircumcised people amongst the Israelites circumcised with flint knives.

Circumcision in the Promised Land

Circumcision means separating a token of flesh as a sign of my commitment to God. It isn’t something the Israelites invented for themselves. It was part of the covenant that God gave to the Israelites through the patriarch Abraham.

The constant movement of the exodus made circumcision in the desert an impossibility. The plain of Jericho gave a moment of rest. No uncertainty of moving. Time for healing. Time for entering fully into the covenant before entering fully into the promise.

Circumcision in the Heart

Circumcision of the heart means separating from the things that keep me from doing the entire will of God.

So, my call, my purpose, my telos, my reason for being, my meaningfulness, my happiness – all these are contingent on my willingness to separate from those things that keep me from doing the will of God. The false self. The mask. The super-ego. All these things I find in my heart.

No one can cut these away without my willing to allow it.

One is not a Jew outwardly. True circumcision is not outward, in the flesh. Rather, one is a Jew inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart, in the spirit, not the letter; his praise is not from human beings but from God” Rom 2:28-29

April 14, 2018

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