18. The importance of circumcision

God established His covenant with Abraham. He changed his name and He gave him fresh promises of a multitude of blessings and all Abraham had to do was to accept the covenant. And his way of accepting it was to circumcise all the males in his household, which he did, on the very same day that God gave him this instruction.

Now circumcision for me is a very interesting thing to do. Of all the things God could have asked him to do, He required this of him. Why? I would like to share with you the explanation in my Bible, the Life Application Study Bible:

  1. It was a sign that they will obey God in all matters.
  2. It was a sign that they belonged to His covenant people. Once circumcised there was no turning back. The man would be identified as a Jew forever.
  3. It served as a symbol of 'cutting off' the old life of sin, purifying one's heart and dedicating oneself to God.
  4. It might possibly have served as a health measure in those days.

Now Abraham and his descendants continued with this tradition of circumcision. This tradition continued to live on in the lives of the Israelites, even during their years of bondage in Egypt. It was only during the 40 years that they travelled in the wilderness after the Exodus, that they didn't perform circumcision. But before they could enter the Promised Land, God commanded that they be circumcised again (Joshua 5:2). Why? Well to mark them off as His people again. It served as a physical sign of the covenant that He had made with Abraham and it reminded them of that. Here it also indicated that they should now leave their old lives as slaves behind and start their new lives as rightful owners of land.

This tradition never stopped. Jesus Himself was circumcised as a Jew. And today the Jewish people still perform this ritual. But for us as Christians, this ritual serves as a reminder to us, to be spiritually circumcised. This means that when we accept Jesus into our lives, we should 'cut off' our old life of sin and embrace our new life in Christ. We should depart from our fleshly desires and rather give in to the desires of His Holy Spirit inside of us. We cannot serve two masters, and at a stage in our lives we need to choose: Are we going to follow our fleshly desires or are we going to follow the Holy Spirit, as we cannot serve both. One will be the master and one will be the servant. I can tell you that the flesh makes a good servant, but a terrible master. It will be in our best interest if we give the Holy Spirit total reign in our lives. Our lives will be filled with His power and love. What more can we ask than to be filled in totality with His Spirit. It is only then that we will have total fulfilment in life.

Next time when you read about the ritual of circumcision, think about the spiritual circumcision in your life. I have spoken previously how we are the spiritual children of Abraham, the father of faith. And if we would like to partake in all the blessings God has in store for us, we need to accept the covenant from our side and undergo spiritual circumcision. Have you done it? Have you turned from following your fleshly desires? Have you 'cut off' your own self from ruling your life? Be circumcised in the Spirit today and experience the fullness of His Spirit guiding your every step. You will never be disappointed. It will be one of your most liberating experiences. You are part of God's covenant until the day He comes to fetch us, what a wonderful prospect.

Thank you Father that we can be circumcised in the Spirit. Thank you for paving the way for us Jesus. Thank you for helping us in every regard. Please help us and give us the strength to turn from our evil, fleshly ways and rather follow You, where our lives will be overflowing with grace and love. Amen

1 comment for “18. The importance of circumcision”

  1. Gravatar of RonelleRonelle
    Posted Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 2:17:32 PM

    Thank you for the precious insight Ilze

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