Restoring Our Identity
At that time the Lord told Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise this second generation of Israelites. ” So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the entire male population of Israel at Gibeath-haaraloth.
Joshua 5:2-3 NLT
As we read the fifth chapter of Joshua, we discover that none of the men had been circumcised. God had given Abraham a command to circumcise every male child on the eighth day. Circumcision was a sign of identity. This practice had continued for hundreds of years until the children of Israel had left Egypt.
When they failed to enter the Promised Land under Moses, they had stopped the practice of circumcision. We are not told why they stopped the practice, only that none of the sons of the men who left Egypt were circumcised.
In the wilderness, they had lost their identity. Now, just as they were entering the Promised Land and about to do battle to conquer the land, God wanted to restore their identity as unique to Him.
This process was not without bloodshed and pain. The men would all be incapacitated for at least two days after the circumcision. That would mean the nation would be vulnerable to attack for a period of time. But God had put a great fear of Israel in the hearts of the people of the Promised Land. They were not going to attack.
Sometimes, it is easy to lose our identity as children of God. We can get so caught up in the day-to-day activities of life that we begin to blend in with the world around us. We need to be reminded that God has called us to be different from our world. God has not called us to be weird—He has called us to be different.
Our difference should be because we are children of God, and we live to please Him. We are not looking for the world to establish our worth or value. As children of God, we allow Him to establish our worth and value.
Holy Spirit, please help me never to allow myself to forget that I belong to You. My identity is in Jesus. My life’s goal and objective are to please You and to fulfill Your desires and plans for my life.
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