JOSHUA‬ ‭5‬:‭1‬-‭12‬ ‭‬‬

“When all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan and all the Canaanite kings who lived along the Mediterranean coast heard how the Lord had dried up the Jordan River so the people of Israel could cross, they lost heart and were paralyzed with fear because of them. At that time the Lord told Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise this second generation of Israelites.” So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the entire male population of Israel at Gibeath-haaraloth. Joshua had to circumcise them because all the men who were old enough to fight in battle when they left Egypt had died in the wilderness. Those who left Egypt had all been circumcised, but none of those born after the Exodus, during the years in the wilderness, had been circumcised. The Israelites had traveled in the wilderness for forty years until all the men who were old enough to fight in battle when they left Egypt had died. For they had disobeyed the Lord, and the Lord vowed he would not let them enter the land he had sworn to give us—a land flowing with milk and honey. So Joshua circumcised their sons—those who had grown up to take their fathers’ places—for they had not been circumcised on the way to the Promised Land. After all the males had been circumcised, they rested in the camp until they were healed. Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the shame of your slavery in Egypt.” So that place has been called Gilgal to this day. While the Israelites were camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, they celebrated Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month. The very next day they began to eat unleavened bread and roasted grain harvested from the land. No manna appeared on the day they first ate from the crops of the land, and it was never seen again. So from that time on the Israelites ate from the crops of Canaan.”
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Joshua‬ ‭5‬:‭1‬-‭12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

After Joshua circumcised the men, he says, “today I have rolled away the shame of your slavery in Egypt.” This is of course a reference to the foreskin which was a covering for the male genitalia. Though they had made it out of the wilderness, and they were ready for battle, they still needed to step beyond their shame. Paul speaks about the penis as a metaphor for the heart. This moment symbolizes our need to have our hearts revealed before entering into God’s war ministry. It is God who protected them at this time. It is said that the enemy “lost heart.” God kept them safe as they made the final and intimate sacrifice. Many of God’s people claim to be ready to enter the fight for the promised land of his kingdom but still refuse to pull back this foreskin, let alone remove it. It is an unspoken price in our free salvation. But it is a necessary part of the sanctification process which prepares us. We should understand that this is surgical and important as we begin with God.

Published by Josh McGary

MY NAME IS JOSH MCGARY. First, I am a Pastor of a small church in Portland, Oregon named Aletheia Bible Fellowship. We call it ABF. I have been a pastor there for the better part of 20 years. I am very eclectic. What I love, I love loudly and immersively. I have notable collections of toys, funko pops, and vinyl. I also infamously love pop culture, comic books, technology, the arts, psychology and philosophy. https://sleek.bio/joshmcgary

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