I told my husband that for the first time I am fascinated by the book of Numbers and Deuteronomy. He quipped back "well there's hope for you yet". Ha! As I was reading today, the following verses leapt off the page at me. May they be a blessing to you as well.
Circumcise Your Heart
After I shared this with Darrell he asked me to look at the following scripture and consider how they relate to one another.
Christ the Hope of Jews and Gentiles
I am grateful to be married to a pastor. To be able to have conversations at home where the wisdom that he receives through biblical education and his discipline of study help me to have a greater understanding of scripture and the beauty of God’s word. To understand more deeply the intricacies of the Word that show beyond a shadow of doubt that the Bible could never have been written by mere man; especially not from so many men over such a long period of time.
Darrell shared with me the scripture correlations in Deuteronomy and Romans. Here is a small portion of our conversation. I just can’t type that fast ;).
Returning back to Exodus, we see God giving the law to the Israelites for the first time. In Deuteronomy we see the second giving of the law; a restatement of the law given in Exodus. The generation of those who received the law, the people who lived and experienced the exodus from Egypt over the age of 20, have been excluded from seeing the Promised Land. The only one of their generation to be allowed to go into the Promised Land is Caleb, the son of Jephunneh. He was one of the four scouts sent out by God to survey the land. While all four scouts proclaimed the land to be good only Caleb exhibited faith that God would give over the peoples to them as He promised, no matter how numerous or frightening they were. Israel sinned and brought upon themselves their punishment. We do not know how much time passed between the exodus from Egypt and the time when the Israelites rebelled but we know that they had a significant walk from Egypt to the Promised Land and that they were then wandering for an additional forty years. A restatement of the law is a reminder for a new generation of God’s covenant and of the law. See Numbers 32 and Deuteronomy 1:34-40.
So God declares His covenant and restates the law. In Deuteronomy 10:12-22 we continue to see the application of the law for Israel. Verse 16 can be a bit odd or confusing to modern believers…
“Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn.” Only Israel was required to circumcise their children (Genesis 17:9-14) as circumcision represents an identity. The Israelites identity as God’s children. Genesis 17:11 says “you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you”. Romans 15:8 shows that Christ is the fulfillment of God’s promise to the patriarchs. Verses 9-13 share the joyful news that the Gentiles have hope in Christ through the new covenant. Christ’s selfless sacrifice on the cross. This is where we see the correlation between Deuteronomy 10:16 and Romans 10:8. Gentiles are not required to be circumcised, yet we are to have our identity in Him. We are to circumcise our hearts.
Romans 15:8 says that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness. God made promises long ago to the patriarchs. Now these promises have been fulfilled in Christ. These promises given to the Israelites as written in Deuteronomy were given in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy. All along God was at work to bring His redemptive story to fulfillment. While the outward sign of circumcision identified God’s chosen people the inward sign of someone submitted to God is a circumcised heart. God has always been at work to change the hearts of men. His redemptive story has always been moving forward for His glory.