Updated: Jun 10
“At that time the LORD said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time.”
Joshua 5:2 KJV
For the past two weeks I have been reading Joshua. God has kept me re-reading each chapter over and over again. I initially stopped in Chapter 5 but proceeded to read. Then when I finished Chapter 7, God took me right back to Chapter 5. I went back to Chapter 5, verse 2 to be exact. I couldn’t figure out why, but it finally hit me today.
God promised the people of Israel he would deliver them from Egypt and take them to the promise land, but not the older generation as they didn’t believe God, they had murmured against Moses and Aaron and even suggested they return to Egypt where they were slaves (Numbers 4:13,14). Why when God promises to deliver us out of bondage and the path to freedom doesn’t look like what we think it should look like, we return or attempt to return to the mess, the struggle, the madness, the hurt and the pain we so desperately prayed to get out of? Did we honestly forget how badly we wanted out? Did we lose focus of how much we desired liberty and freedom just because we have wilderness experiences? Why do we so easily quit when things are difficult just because we hit a rough patch? Do we forget how far God has brought us and how difficult the trip was to get to this very place?
Either way, the people of Israel (older generation died in the wilderness) as God said because they didn’t believe. It’s a difference between doubt and unbelief. We sometimes have “doubts” mostly because we know God “can” do it, but we aren’t sure if it’s apart of His plan so we aren’t sure he will. However, unbelief is NOT believing God can do it.The people of Israel didn’t believe God was able to lead them to the promise land. So only the younger generation survived the forty years in the wilderness. And when all the older generation died off and only the younger generation was left, God told Joshua to circumcise them a second time.
Of course we know what that means physically for a male. It’s the cutting away of the foreskin or flesh around the penis area for cleanliness and to ensure the seed is able to go forth or flow successfully. Now let’s look at what it means spiritually. It’s the cutting away of the flesh so the seed (God’s word) is able to go forth/fall on good ground (our heart). God’s word needs good ground (receptive heart) to take root.
So the more carnal we are, the less spiritual we are and the less receptive our heart is to God’s word. Our carnal nature counters anything spiritual or our inner man. Somedays that’s why this salvation walk is such a battle. Carnal (worldly) folk can’t discern spiritual things (Corinthians 2:14). And that’s why circumcision in the spiritual sense is so important.
The condition of this world and society around us is calling for us as Believers to step it up. We need to cut away ALL of the flesh around our heart. God wants us to walk in the spirit. He wants us to dwell in His presence so we can discern spiritual things. He wants us to read, digest and live His word. Just like the people of Israel, sometimes after a wilderness experience, after we have been in a dry place, after we have been in a difficult place, a place that has been unfamiliar, a place that has been uncomfortable, after we have been in a place that hasn’t brought the best out of us, we need to be circumcised a second time.
Cutting away the flesh or killing the carnal nature ensures we as Believers know what we stand for and who we represent. We need a renewed mind in Christ. We need a fresh wind (Holy Ghost), so we are receptive to God’s word, so we can hear His voice, so that we are clear about our assignment and our purpose in Him.