Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pause and Ponder--Twelve: Three

Leviticus 12:3

"And on the eight day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised."

Wait!!! Come back!

In case it isn't obvious... I am, very Lord willing, writing a "Pause and Ponder" with a Scripture reference according to the date for every day in December until the twelve days of Christmas (I think).
Then it's going to change somehow but, I don't know how yet (grin).

It is now December 3rd or 12/3, so the reference that I looked up first (and wanted to skip entirely) was the verse above.

But as I was on my way to search for a different Scripture, the Lord "called me out."

Soooo, here I am... awkward moment and all.

I do believe that each and every word of Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for "teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness..."
(2 Tim 3:16-17)

(Big breath)

Here we go...

Circumcision was the sign of the covenant between God and the Hebrew people.
(For more on that, read Genesis 17)

But, again, the Old Testament is a picture book of New Testament truths that are applicable to us, today.

Before delving into the "picture," I wanted to briefly mention how wonderful this verse is on a very practical level... the ability to coagulate blood reaches it's peak on the eighth day of an infants' life.  The optimal time for the body to heal itself is the time that God commands the circumcision to take place.

He is good-- all the time.

And now for the picture, the number eight is often equated with new beginnings in the bible.  And the "flesh" that is cut away during circumcision is equated with our fleshly, carnal nature.

What does that mean??

Well, since it is December in Oregon, let's go with an easy one.  On cold and rainy Sunday mornings my flesh says, "It's cold outside, my bed is warm, I'm very tired so maybe I should just stay home and not go to church."

Ah, but the Lord Jesus, in defeating death and resurrecting, provided the Spirit so that I may choose to live by the Spirit and not by the flesh.

The Spirit says, "The Word says to not forsake the assembling of yourselves (believers) together."
He also whispers, "Come on little one, you will be blessed and full.  You were created to worship the Lord your God.  Go to His house today and come into His presence with gladness and singing."

So I go... and "I am glad that they said to me, "Let us go into the house of the Lord." (Psalm 122)

But as I've been pondering this verse a lot in the last 24 hours or so, a few other things occurred to me.

The cutting of the flesh from that, um, particular area of the body, is very private.  I can't look at someone walking down the street and know whether or not they are circumcised.  Only those with intimate knowledge ( a parent, a spouse, a doctor...) of a person would know.

God knows every part of us, inside and out, intimately and this command speaks to me about my willingness to have "flesh" areas of my life dealt with even if most other people would never know.

The Bible says that everything is open and naked before the eyes of the Lord and I agree with the psalmist David when he wrote,

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting."
Psalm 139

Yeah, other people that don't know me very well see one thing (either good or bad) and make their judgents but my concern is,

"How am I doing with You Lord?"

And, "What do the people that live with me day in and day out, what do they see?
Do they see Jesus in me?"

"God," as a silver or goldsmith purifies until he sees his reflection (free from impurities),
"Do You see Your reflection in me?"

As I pondered that, I remembered these verses from Deuteronomy Chapter 10.  It's these verses that I truly want to pause and ponder...

The LORD delighted only in your fathers, to love them;
and He chose their descendants after them,
you above all peoples, as it is this day.

Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart,
and be stiff-necked no longer. 

For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords,
the great God, mighty and awesome,
who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe.

He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow,
and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. 

Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him,
and to Him you shall hold fast, and take oaths in His name. 

He is your praise, and He is your God,
who has done for you these great
and awesome things which your eyes have seen.

Your fathers went down to Egypt with seventy persons,
and now the LORD your God has made you as the stars of heaven in multitude.

Positionally, because of the blood of Jesus that I wrote about yesterday, God sees me as perfect as His Son.

Practically,  He will be faithful to finish the work that He started... which is changing my character to His character.

I want to have many "eighth days" or days of new beginnings as I willingly come to Him and offer the areas of "flesh" He shows me-- that I may purified and circumcised in my heart.


(Whew) That wasn't too bad now was it? :)


MB said...

You got a lot out of that verse! Very well done. And thank you for sharing the insights on what you learned. Glad to hear your headache is gone..I hope it will stay that way! Off to check your other comment. Have a blessed day dear!

Auntie said...

Not bad at all..thank you!

Abigail said...

Good word Momma!

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