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The Circumcision of the Heart

Here is a recording of Joshua 5:1-15 read by me:

The Footnotes in The Passion Translation are so fascinating. Some of this I believe is personal opinion, but most of it is sited, which means it has historical commentary to prove it’s true.

  1. Yahweh and Joshua were friends. How wonderful to know that God will converse with his servants.

  2. Circumcision, the cutting off of the foreskin from the penis, was the sign of the covenant that God made with Abraham (Genesis 17:9-14). The reason for doing this is given in Joshua 5:4-7. The male children born while Israel was wandering in the wilderness for 40 years had not been circumcised. This would leave Israel vulnerable for a number of days as the man healed.

  3. All male Israelites had been circumcised before the exodus from Egypt (Ex 12:44-51), so this would be the nation’s second time.

  4. There could have been more than a half a million men who were circumcised at that time. The Hebrew word for circumcision is muwl, which means “to cut short,” “to blunt,” “to destroy,” or “to cut in pieces.” The principle of circumcision is that the flesh (human nature apart from divine influence) must be cut off and removed if God‘s people are to enter into the fullness of their spiritual inheritance (see Col. 2:10-11; 3:9). Circumcision was performed on the eighth day after birth (Luke 2:21). Eight is the number of a new beginnings. The circumcision of the heart frees us to hear from God (see Duet. 10:16; 30:6; Jer. 4:4; Rom 2:29), to live in the spirit of God (see Phil. 3:3), and to enter into the fullness of God (see Rom 6:1-14).

  5. Gilgal means “circle” or “roll away.” It became their headquarters during the early days of their conquest of Canaan.

  6. The feast of Passover commemorated their deliverance from slavery in Egypt (see Ex. 12:1-14).

  7. Abib was the first month of the Jewish ecclesiastical calendar and was later changed to Nisan after the Babylonian captivity. It is roughly April in the Gregorian calendar. Next page of the chapter.

  1. Manna means “what is it?” (see Ex. 16:14-15, 31. For 40 years, God supernaturally fed his people in the wilderness (see Ex. 16:35). Manna is also called Angel‘s food (see Ps. 78:25).

  2. There’s nothing in the text to indicate that this was a vision. Joshua physically saw this tangible man before him.

  3. This encounter was not a matter of Joshua gaining the allegiance of the Lord but of the Lord gaining the allegiance of Joshua. Wow!!! I love that.

  4. No doubt, the imposing walls of Jericho that stood before Israel intimidated Joshua. Suddenly the commander came to take over the leadership of his armies. Also, these armies were not only earthly but also the greater armies of the angelic host that stood ready to follow their heavenly commander into battle (See 2 kings 6:15-17). He was about to give Joshua a Supernatural and illogical strategy for taking the city of Jericho. Now that’s a movie, I would like to see played out.

  5. Joshua worshiped this commander showing that he was neither an angel nor human messenger but Jesus. This was a Christophany (a pre-incarnate appearing of Christ). Furthermore, the commander called the ground Joshua was upon holy because of the presence of the holy one. Compare Gen 16:7; 18:22; 32:24-32; Ex 3:5; Judg. 2:1; 6:12-18; 13:3-22.

  6. See Ex. 3:5. This chapter teaches us many principles to prepare us to enter our own spiritual “promised land” to claim our endless spiritual blessings (see Eph. 1:3). First, we cross over into a new day, burying our old identity and Jordan’s flood. Second, we submit our hearts to Jesus, cutting off our flesh, experiencing the circumcision of the heart. Third, we enjoy Passover feast, receiving full deliverance from sin and victory over our enemies (see 1 Cor 5:6-8). Fourth, we get a new diet for conquerors (see Heb. 5:11-6:3). Manna (the life of Christ while he was on earth) has ceased, and the new roasted grain has become our feast. Jesus passed through the fires of God‘s judgment for our sins and has now become the grain of wheat who fell into the ground ( see John 12:24-26). Now he was raised with many grains of wheat (our co-resurrection with Christ, See Eph. 2:6). Now we eat the unleavened bread of single-hearted devotion and purity in the love feast we enjoy in Christ (see 2 Cor. 11:3). Fifth, we encounter the commander of the Yahweh’s armies, knowing that he will lead us forward in “endless triumphs” ( 2 Cor. 2:14). These principles prepare us to enter into the spiritual Promiseland and into a new dimension of spiritual warfare (see Josh. 6).

There’s a lot here for only 15 verses in this chapter. What stood out was this:

The principle of circumcision is that the flesh (human nature apart from divine influence) must be cut off and removed if God‘s people are to enter into the fullness of their spiritual inheritance (see Col. 2:10-11; 3:9).

This is what really stood out to me, but also the entire chapter is so crazy, and yet I believe it really happened. Another note said:

Now we eat the unleavened bread of single-hearted devotion and purity in the love feast we enjoy in Christ (see 2 Cor. 11:3).

This is living life in the Spirit. Joshua was living from a place of full inheritance. This takes me to a passage in the New Testament about us being heirs.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”

Romans 8:14-17 KJV

“The mature children of God are those who are moved by the impulses of the Holy Spirit. And you did not receive the “spirit of religious duty,” leading you back into the fear of never being good enough. But you have received the “Spirit of full acceptance,” enfolding you into the family of God. And you will never feel orphaned, for as he rises up within us, our spirits join him in saying the words of tender affection, “Beloved Father!” For the Holy Spirit makes God’s fatherhood real to us as he whispers into our innermost being, “You are God’s beloved child!” And since we are his true children, we qualify to share all his treasures, for indeed, we are heirs of God himself. And since we are joined to Christ, we also inherit all that he is and all that he has. We will experience being co-glorified with him provided that we accept his sufferings as our own.”

Romans 8:14-17 TPT

Can you see/feel the bigger picture in this second translation? There are footnotes here as well, but this has already gotten too long, so I will leave that to you to read and study. The Bible never gets old y’all, for it’s full of meaty life giving life-breathing words. And as mentioned above, the more you understand your true identity as a child of God, the more empowered, awakened, lifted and energized you feel, at least that is what’s happened to me.

A list of insteads:

  1. Not good enough versus full acceptance.

  2. Not an orphan, but a beloved child.

  3. No inheritance versus full inheritance.

  4. Disqualified versus you being fully qualified with Christ.

We experience co-glory when we allow His suffering as our own (something Howie talked about last week).

What a week to be alive folks!!!

If you have never read Joshua before, give it a try. He had courage to conquer not in his own strength, but from his discipleship with Moses and his own relationship/friendship with the Lord Himself. His faith and devotion allowed him to cross over into the promise land.

I’m going to link a couple songs that speak to me from this place of beloved inheritance.

These are longer soaking songs, but they get me fired up every time, for these worshippers go all in for their love of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

I hope you have enjoyed this week’s blog on the circumcision of the heart. Take some time to sit in His presence as these songs wash over you. It doesn’t matter how many times I play them, I always feel better afterwards.

Until next time,

Stay Tender

Connect to the Mender

Be a Sender

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Mar 07, 2022

God's music is soothing to the soul.

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