All of Christ for All of Life
Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Christ Alone

13 April 2020 – Joshua 5:2-3

At that time the LORD said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelites again.” So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the Israelites at Gibeath Haaraloth. – Joshua 5:2-3

Adolph Harstad writes:

Covenant renewal is behind all the activity in 5:2-12. In church history, this might be likened to Josiah’s reform (2 Kings 23:1-28) or to the Lutheran Reformation. The two great covenants of the LORD with Israel are in view through the circumcision and the Passover, the two main ceremonies associated with those covenants. Circumcision was a sign of Go’s covenant with Abraham, and the Passover celebrated the exodus and Mosaic covenant. The covenant nation had lived in a state of suspension during the thirty-eight years of wandering in the wilderness. They did not circumcise, and they did not celebrate Passover until the unfaithful generation died off and the new generation was to be sanctified to receive the inheritance.

It was crucial to renew circumcision at this point in Israel’s national life. Circumcision was the pledge, seal, and sign in human flesh of the LORD’s covenant with and promises to Abraham. By solemn contact without any conditions he promised Abraham a great name, a special land, numerous children, and a particular Seed or Offspring, through whom all peoples on earth would be blessed. Now the numerous children of Abraham stand on the promised soil with their enemies melting in fear. The promise of the Offspring who will live, minister, die, and rise again in this very land is coming one major step closer to fulfillment. It is obvious, even before the statements of Joshua in 23:14, that the LORD is keeping all His promises to Abraham. Israel has every reason to delight in the rite that is the sign of the covenant with Abraham, a covenant of free, unconditional grace.

MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 25

Q. 25. How doth Christ execute the office of a priest?
A. Christ executeth the office of a priest, in his once offering up of himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice, and reconcile us to God; and in making continual intercession for us.