When God made His amazing covenant promises to Abraham & his offspring (Genesis 17) God gave them a physical sign of the covenant, from that day ‘every male among you shall be circumcised’ (Genesis 17:10).
God saved His people out of Egypt, lead, loved and provided miraculously for them in the Wilderness but they rebelled, walked away from God, grumbled and didn’t believe God over and over again. Here in Joshua 5 we see the affects of the breakdown in that ‘Wilderness generation’s” faith in God…
Though all the people who came out had been circumcised, yet all the people who were born on the way in the wilderness after they had come out of Egypt had not been circumcised. (Joshua 5:5)
Their faith and followership of God had grown lukewarm, was compromised and so things that God had required, signs of the covenant had fallen by the wayside it seems during those wilderness years.
“No matter how long you have traveled in the wrong direction, you can always turn around.” – Nicky Gumbel
The good news is that God is gracious, God gives us fresh starts! And this is what we read of in Joshua 5, a fresh start for God’s people. Note how it is God who takes the intiative, God speaks to Joshua instructing him to have the men circumcised, to re-establish the symbol of the covenant between God and His people.
In our era of redemptive history we no longer need to be physically circumcised as is clear from a reading of the New Testament, but this passage can still speak to us today…
Circumcision was a sign, a symbol of the fact that these were God’s special people, His chosen, set-apart ones.
In what ways does God call us to make it evident that we are His people?
Are there any things we are called to do, not do to make it plain for ourselves and for others that we are His?
How are YOU doing with your followership of God? If the people in the Wilderness could grow cold in their faith, then it CAN happen to us too.
So, let’s continually stoke our love for God, keep the fire of worship strong and vital in our hearts and lives, and let’s as a result live lives that clearly reflect who’s we are – His alone.