Egypt is Behind Us

November 12th, 2011


Joshua 5:1-12

God desires a holy people. Scripture continually recounts his exhortations and instructions on how and why holiness is so necessary in God’s children. In the Old Testament, circumcision was a required, outward act that symbolized identification of a male child with the family of God. To be uncircumcised was proof that you were not part of God’s family.


During the 40 years of desert wandering, a circumcised generation died off and the new generation had not been required to observe this facet of the Law. They were just like the Egyptians from whom God had delivered their fathers. They still bore the mark of being outside God’s law. Desiring a holy people obedient to his Law, God ordered Joshua to circumcise all the men to evidence that their old lives of sin and bondage in Egypt were permanently behind them.


Today the sacrament of baptism is for many Christians what circumcision represented to Joshua and the people. While we live under grace and not under the Law, nonetheless God still requires a holy people. His standards for our heart purity have not changed in the least over the centuries.

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