Joshua and Judges: Circumcision of the heart, part 7. Jos 5:2-3; Deu 30:6; Jer 6:10; 9:26.
length: 64:20 - taught on Nov, 20 2015
Returning to the old testament, we see Moses again using circumcision of the heart as the true application to the individual who has entered into the Abrahamic covenant.
When God calls Israel from their present dispersion at His second coming their believing hearts that are open to His word and the work of His Spirit will circumcise their hearts.
DEU 30:1 "So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind in all nations where the Lord your God has banished you,
DEU 30:2 and you return to the Lord your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons,
DEU 30:3 then the Lord your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you.
DEU 30:4 If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back.
DEU 30:5 And the Lord your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.
DEU 30:6 Moreover the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live.
DEU 30:7 And the Lord your God will inflict all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you.
DEU 30:8 And you shall again obey the Lord, and observe all His commandments which I command you today.
DEU 30:9 Then the Lord your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your cattle and in the produce of your ground, for the Lord will again rejoice over you for good, just as He rejoiced over your fathers;
DEU 30:10 if you obey the Lord your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.
It is clear here that circumcision of the heart refers to a heart that will obey the Lord and walk in His ways. Hence, the nation of Israel that is uncircumcised when camped with Joshua will be physically so that they may be reminded of the Abrahamic covenant and their individual obligations to it, which will be manifested by obeying the Mosaic covenant.
God tells man that the divine way is perfect and that He desires men to walk therein.
As for God,
His way is blameless;
The word of the Lord is tried;
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;
Man cannot do it by himself, so God has provided His own grace. In the Old Testament time, this was based on the blood sacrifice of the lamb; in the New Testament time, the shadow gave way to the substance, and the Lord Jesus Christ was seen as the source of power.
The believer's circumcised heart turns to Him and beholds Him through the ministry of God the Holy Spirit, who enables Him in grace to walk in holiness.
But men still cling to their own ways. A surgical operation is needed - circumcision at salvation. The will that has received Christ must make a decision for holiness and cleave to it.
God repudiates formalism without a heart change, and the man who trusts in liturgical ceremonies or religious rites without having a definite change of heart is in the folly of self-deception.
So we have two passages on the circumcision of the heart. Now we turn to the circumcision of the ear.
Man's nature is so self-centered that he cannot even hear God unless there is a circumcision of the ear.
Jeremiah records the Lord's word on this:
JER 6:10 To whom shall I speak and give warning,
That they may hear?
Behold, their ears are closed,
And they cannot listen.
Behold, the word of the Lord has become a reproach to them;
They have no delight in it.
Thus saith the Lord of hosts, …
To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. KJV
The NASB has it as "their ears are closed" which takes away from the use of the adjective which is clearly the Hebrew word for uncircumcised.
This should be a searching, solemn word to every one of us. If you find no joy in the study of the Word of God, if you do not wish to listen to His voice, cry unto Him to circumcise your ear, to destroy, if need be, every interest that would distract your attention from hearing His voice.
Think about it. If it is true that you find no joy in the word of God then you find no joy in God, for the word is God. The word is God speaking to you. Do you not value it? Everyone values something since everyone has a conscience. So if you don't value the word of God what do you value? You should ask God to reveal to you the true value of what it is that you falsely value. God knows it to be false, but you have to come to your own conclusion. No believer can grow in respect to God's wisdom if they listen to the word of God because of someone else. They listen because someone else does, a spouse or a parent, or they listen because they think they are supposed to or maybe they have a position in the church but have lost their love of the word of God. You can only grow in grace and knowledge when you come to your own conclusion that the word of God has more value than anything else and that from your own fabric of soul, you love it and hear it with joy. You must determine its meaning for yourself.
The Lord Jesus Christ cries out:
"He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
It is recorded three times in one Gospel and four times in another.
He says eight times in the book of Revelation:
'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
All believers must recognize within themselves when they are beginning to slowly fade away from the word of God or if they have fallen away from it. They must cry out, "Lord circumcise my ears, that I may hear."
Our fourth reference in the OT to the true meaning of circumcision is in Jer 9.
JER 9:23 Thus says the Lord, "Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;
JER 9:24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things, "declares the Lord.
The True Wisdom. - It is not a reliance on one's own wisdom and strength that brings well-being, but the knowledge of the Lord and of His dealings in grace and justice.
Truth and wisdom have only one true source. Others claim to be the source of it, but they are all created things, and so they cannot be. They either agree with the source or they don't. We must look to the source that we can behold - the person of God in the Lord Jesus Christ.
In verse 23 he mentions the delusive objects of confidence on which the children of this world are wont to pride themselves: their own wisdom, strength, and riches. These things do not save from ruin. Safety is secured only by "having understanding and knowing God." These two ideas are so closely connected, that the second may be looked on as giving the nearer definition of the first. The having of understanding must manifest itself in the knowing of the Lord.
Understand and know the Lord who does:
Lovingkindness - strength, steadfastness, and love.
Justice - renders the right verdict.
Righteousness - always upright.