“At that time, the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelites again.’ So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the Israelites at Gibeath Haaraloth.” – Joshua 5:2-3
The Israelites were ready to take the Promised Land, but first, they had to be circumcised. Why was circumcision so important to God?
Like many of the rituals and ceremonies of the Old Testament, circumcision pointed to something far more important. Hebrews 10:1 states, “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves.”
If you see the shadow of a tree, you know there must be a real tree nearby. Circumcision was the shadow. A broken and contrite heart is the reality—the good thing. Cutting the flesh only brings pain. And, although ‘cutting the heart’ brings emotional pain, it is the one good thing that God wants to see in every human being—a heart that has been cut by the Holy Spirit.
Paul explains this theologically in Romans 2:28-29. “A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.”
So much more could be said. But here is the main point: God wants us to see our inner sin in order that a heart of repentance might be born. A heart of repentance ushers in the grace and mercy of God. Just like the Israelites, no one will enter THE Promised Land (Heaven) without a circumcised heart—a heart that has been cut by God. Has your heart been truly circumcised?