It seems like the world is crazy and spinning out of control. In our country, we are seeing so much nastiness (and that’s a good word for it!) and ridiculous rhetoric, faultfinding, blame and torrid name-calling. Much (or rather all of it) of it is done in the name of boldness and telling it like it is. It is popular to be snarky; it is cool to be obnoxious. Yes there is evil and yes there is good, but without God people confuse which is which.
I am reminded of a verse in Isaiah:
20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Circumcision is a theme throughout the Old Testament and New Testament. Under the old covenant it was a reminder and sign of God’s relationship with His people:
10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. 11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. Genesis 17:10-11
In Deuteronomy, Moses explains the spiritual significance of circumcision:
6 And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. Deuteronomy 3:6
God told them to forget about their stubbornness, to break up the clods of self-worship, doubt, ego and hard heartedness and not to throw their lot in with the prickly ones:
3 For thus saith the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.4 Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: Jeremiah 4:3-4a
Bottom line? The New Testament hits it right on the head:
28 For he is not a Judean, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:But he is a Judean which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. Romans 2:28-29
Boldness must be in regards to the truth of God. The Word says that ‘by their fruits ye shall know them”. We too easily get caught up in what people say rather than by their fruits. Words are dangerous when used in the wrong way. They can drop a veil of control over the heart in a split second when they appeal to our base natures. It can ruin even the nicest among us.
The big message of Deuteronomy after all the desert wandering is:
12 And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
13 To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? 14 Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.15 Only the Lord had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day. 16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked. Deuteronomy 10:12-16
It works today!