“This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised.”
We are now introduced to the sign—the physical act denoting one’s participation—of the covenant God made with Abraham. The sign was that all of Abraham’s male descendants would undergo circumcision, which is the removal of the foreskin from the male reproductive organ. Circumcision was to identify Abraham’s descendants and others who came into the community of Israel (Exodus 12:48).
This sign was a physical representation of what God truly wanted from Abraham’s descendants: faithfulness to God down to their innermost being—their hearts.
Later in the Bible, God reveals the spiritual reality that He intended circumcision to represent: “Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your hearts” (Jeremiah 4:4).
Under the New Covenant, “he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God” (Romans 2:29). The sign of entrance into the New Covenant is baptism (Acts 22:16; Galatians 3:27; 1 Peter 3:21).
To learn more about the meaning of circumcision, read “Circumcision: The First Administrative Change in God’s Law.”
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “God’s Promises to Be Fulfilled Through Isaac.”