We’ve challenged those with us on The Journey to read through the Bible with two questions in mind. The two questions Paul asked Jesus when he encountered Him on the road to Damascus:
Who are You, Lord?
What shall I do, Lord?
We two sisters are asking the same questions and seeking insights from His Word.
Week 40: Deuteronomy 29-34
The Lord said to Moses, “Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers; and this people will arise and play the harlot with the strange gods of the land, into the midst of which they are going, and will forsake Me and break My covenant which I made with them.
“Then My anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide My face from them, and they will be consumed, and many evils and troubles will come upon them; so that they will say in that day, ‘Is it not because our God is not among us that these evils have come upon us?’
“But I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they will do, for they will turn to other gods. …”
Deuteronomy 31:16-18 NASB
As we come to the end of Deuteronomy, I find myself wondering at His faithfulness.
God is faithful to His Word and to His promises. We are not. We wander because we refuse to listen to Him, not because He has left us. We are prone to be blind to our own rebellion. Still He is faithful.
And knowing all that He knows, He still chose to create. He still chose to free His people and lead them into a promised land He knew He would remove them from one day.
He gave them law, even though He knew they would break it. He continued His faithfulness, when His people did not.
When He makes a promise, He keeps it. Whether to bring blessings or curses. His promise stands.
He also promised to have compassion on those who would return to Him. And He does. He sent His Son as the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world, knowing not all would receive Him.
His love. It’s a faithful love beyond my understanding. But Oh… I am so grateful for His steadfast love.
“For the Lord will vindicate His people, And will have compassion on His servants, When He sees that their strength is gone, And there is none remaining, bond or free. …”
Deuteronomy 32:36 NASB
And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.
Deuteronomy 30:6 ESV
A mental image started forming when I first read these verses, and when the sisters met to share, my mind was flooded with thoughts about this single verse.
It was not an accident God inspired the word circumcise in this verse. Let’s consider it for a moment. We see it first in Genesis, when God instructed Abraham to circumcise all the males as a sign of the covenant between God and Abraham. (Genesis 17:9-11).
I jotted down a quick list about circumcision:
- A sign of a covenant with God
- It’s a cutting away of flesh
- It’s painful
- A sign of obedience to God
- There’s a healing that must take place after the cutting
- This is permanent. It never looks the same again.
Before you get too bogged down in the actual medical procedure, take a look at this list from a heart’s perspective. Circumcision of the heart is exactly how the Spirit works in us.
He gently and precisely cuts away at the broken and sinful parts of us, and it hurts. Sometimes really bad! We cry tears of pain and wonder what in the world is happening, but He knows. Because this is a sign of the covenant God makes with each of us, and a sign of our obedience to Him. There’s a time of healing after the Spirit cuts away the bad. The wound is fresh and tender. It needs time… time to heal.
I’m so guilty of trying to be the surgeon of my own heart. I strive to cut away the stuff I think shouldn’t be there. I try so hard, really I do. Yet, in the end I’m just a bloody mess. Hurting, guilty, and full of shame, because I think, “I can’t do this. It’s just too hard.”
His word says His command is not too hard for you, neither is it far off (Deuteronomy 30:11).
Do you see it? How I wish we were sitting face to face so that I might see the recognition in your eyes. That I might whisper, “Do you get it?”
Do you get you do not have to manufacture change in yourself? Do you see it is not even your job to do it? It is not mine either.
God is the one who circumcises hearts. He is the Great Surgeon who knows exactly what needs to go and when. He cuts, He heals, He changes. And when He does, we are never the same again.
It was His plan from the very beginning. He knew we would never be successful in our own strength. He knew we would need the Word to become flesh and dwell with us, so we might have Him residing in our heart.
But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.
Deuteronomy 30:14 ESV
For when we choose Christ, we choose life and in Him we can do anything.
Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 ESV
Readings for Week 41: October 14-20, 2017