Grace Moments Devotions - September 15, 2017

September 15

Circumcise all the males then

In some ways, mandatory religious circumcision seems like God’s strangest commandment. “This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised” (Genesis 17:10). From the time of Abraham until the time of Christ, this was God’s will, and he was very serious.

What could possibly be the rationale for cutting a piece of skin off the male reproductive organ? It was to be done at whatever age the male came into the covenant family—as a baby (the usual age) or as an adult (ouch!). God had two powerful objectives. The first was to put his mark on his men to keep them conscious of their unique and separate status. For Israel to fulfill its destiny, the Israelites could not just blend into and assimilate into the Canaanite culture around them. They needed to stay distinct.

An even more urgent reason was that Israel’s greatest purpose was to give the Savior to the world. God had invested his solemn honor in his promise to Abraham that in him all peoples on earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:1-3). It was through the reproductive act that one day there would be a Jewish woman named Mary who would give birth to the Savior.

When God began the writing of the New Testament (Matthew 1), what did he write about first? The bloodline from Abraham to Jesus’ stepfather, Joseph. Mission accomplished. 


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