Quiet Time Coaching Episode 463 | New Thing Series — Part 18 | “Abraham’s circumcision” | Malcolm Cox

A new thing! I’m Malcolm Cox. Welcome to your daily devotional podcast anchored in Isaiah 43:19: ‘See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.’

We are currently looking at God doing a new thing in the life of Abraham. Today we explore Abraham’s circumcision.

God promises nations, kings and the land of Canaan to Abraham. But, most significantly, he offers him an everlasting covenant. The price? Circumcision.

“When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him. On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, and his son Ishmael was thirteen; Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day. And every male in Abraham’s household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.” (Genesis 17:22-27 NIV11)

Abraham takes God at his word

  • Abraham was 99 years old when he was circumcised. Healing takes longer at that age.
  • He persuaded all the other people in his ‘household’ to be circumcised. That’s a lot of men. In Genesis 14:14 he had 318 trained men born in his household. How many did he have by the times we get to Genesis 17? Then add on all the non-trained men and boys. Whoever did the circumcising was busy that day!
  • God’s command to do the ‘new thing’ of circumcision was unpleasant, embarrassing, painful, time-consuming.

For Reflection
Circumcision was not necessarily a new concept to Abraham. “…circumcision was a widespread custom in the ancient world, [but] the richness of its theological meaning in the Pentateuch (and beyond) invested the Israelite practice with a significance that distinguished it entirely from contemporary rites in the ancient world.” IVP Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch. However, even though it was so costly, Abraham took God at his word. Why? Because he understood the significance of what was being promised and who was promising it. Are you in a place where God is calling you to a new thing that has a significant cost? Can you pray to find the confidence that God has your best interests at heart even if the cost is higher than you think you can stand?

I hope you find your heart, your life, your congregation and your world inspired by God doing a new thing. Until tomorrow, take care, and God bless.

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“Carpe Diem” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License