Circumcision is not a new name to me,and I believe you have also come across it or heard it before.In Kenya,we call it,”kutahiriwa”,in the local Swahili language.
It is the removal of the foreskin or prepuce of the male genital organ, whether for religious reasons or as a purely hygienic measure.http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/circumcision/
We have communities who have been practicing the act for centuries,mainly due to cultural beliefs.One of the reasons was to usher young boys into manhood.There are some communities who never did it,but due to health education,they have began to buy the idea.
The Israelites did it as it was an instruction given to their forefathers by God.
10 This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; 11 and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant.
Israelites valued that the act of circumcision made them different from the rest,(it separated them),and they despised the other uncircumcised communities.David the young shepherd boy would not allow an uncircumcised man to bring shame to his people.
1 Samuel 17:26
26 Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
In Deuteronomy 10,Moses instructs the Israelites to circumcise their hearts!Its not the outer organ the Israelites were used to circumcising,now its an inner organ,and a different organ for that matter.They needed to operate an inner organ.They had to work on an inner organ.
16 Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer.
God had noticed that the Israelites were stiff-necked,Deuteronomy 9:13
The Lord noticed that the Israelites were not applying and enforcing the laws he had given them.They resisted his laws.Had it not been for Moses intercession,God would have destroyed them.
The solution was for the Israelites to circumcise their hearts.
The former circumcision was physical,outward and mandatory.The latter circumcision was spiritual,inward and required a willing heart,you could not be forced to do it.
Circumcision of the heart refers to having a pure heart, separated unto God.God wants us to use our hearts to love him,to know him and to follow him.
The Lord is always calling people to himself.He wants us to change our hearts and leave our wicked ways.He is always trying to reason with us.The Lord wants you and me to return to him.He used Jeremiah the prophet,to call back the people who had left him.
‘‘Circumcise yourselves to the Lord,
And take away the foreskins of your hearts,
You men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
Lest My fury come forth like fire,
And burn so that no one can quench it,
Because of the evil of your doings.”
Paul reminded the early Church that it is God who recognizes someone who has been circumcised inside.
29 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.
Piper: “A true Jew is one inwardly, by the Spirit, not outwardly, by flesh or lineage. ”
The Lord is the only one who knows the condition of your heart.The society can see your outside appearance,but it is only God who knows whether you are circumcised or not.
Would love to hear from you concerning this topic and any other you learnt during the week.
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Have you bought the journals we are using?They are not mandatory,but they are quite handy and good resources.
You may want these beautiful jewelry with the words,Shema Israel.These words were spoken with Moses in the beginning of Deuteronomy 6,as he was trying to reason with the Israelites to follow the commanments.
Shema Israel,translated means,
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!
A gold ring
The Lord richly bless you,