Last week we found out what happened after Israel crossed the Jordan River on Dry land. Twelve representatives went back to choose memorial stones from the river bed. The Almighty said that their children would someday ask about the stones and they could tell them how the story of crossing the Jordan on dry ground as a testimony of faith in the Almighty.
Next, every Hebrew man was circumcised in the promised land. Americans generally think of circumcision as something that is done for health reasons, so we are sometimes a little confused or even embarrassed thinking about this commitment to the covenant of the Almighty. For now it is enough to know that circumcision in the flesh of males is commanded for every man who enters a covenant relationship with the Almighty. “Entering covenant with the Almighty” means that we agree to live our lives according to His code of conduct, the Torah. For instance, no uncircumcised man can eat the Passover, something they were about to do in the Promised Land.
Why were they told to use flint (a kind of stone) knives when metal knives had been available for two to three-hundred years? There is a clue in the building of the alter. They could not form stones for the alter with man made tools. The alter had to be built from natural stone, created by the Almighty. The stones used to build an alter to sacrifice to the Almighty were just like all the other stones around them…. Except for one thing. They were chosen, set aside for special use, which is known as “making holy”. We could spend a lot of time looking at that idea, but instead, let’s look at the people the Almighty chooses for his own use. Peter wrote about this years later.
1 Peter 2:4-10 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture:
“BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”
This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve,
“THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED,
THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,”
” A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE”;
for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.
But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; (10) for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY. Nasu
Just as the stones of the alter were not to be formed with man-made tools, neither are the people of the Almighty whom Peter calls, “Living Stones”. They entered the covenant of the Almighty with a flint knife.
2Peter 2:10 says
“you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now are THE PEOPLE OF GOD”
Those of us who are not Jewish like to think that God has made us something special, and he has, but not the way we like to think of being someone special. When the children of Israel crossed the Jordan, they were known as Goy, meaning one of the nations. Joshua 5:6 refers to the children of Israel as Goy (nations or people).
After they were circumcised and kept the Passover, they were once again known as the Children of Israel, the people (Hebrew “am”) of the Almighty. This is what Peter means when he says, you once were “not a people” (Goy or goyim) but now you are The people of the Almighty (Am or Ami). It is the people of God who receive the mercy of God.
The amazing thing we are going to learn in JrHi Ladies Devotions today is that the sword in the hand of the man that Joshua sees is the same word as knife that was used to circumcise the people. The connections are beautiful. I’ll see you at 2:00.
Mrs. Hagerty, November 9, 2015