Dear church,

“Make flint knives and circumcise the sons of Israel a second time.” – Joshua 5:2

The history of Israel for forty years had been marked by the “reproach of Egypt.” This is the idea the Israelites were chosen by God, but they kept meeting disaster after disaster in the wilderness. The bewildered Egyptians must have mocked the plight of Israel. Perhaps God “has brought them out to put them to death in the wilderness” (Deuteronomy 9:28).

Have you ever felt shame? The Israelites surely felt shame for their actions as a nation. A whole generation had passed away because of its unfaithfulness. Fortunately, God gave them a new start. And that new start began with obedience to the commands of God – “make flint knives …” Obedience to God’s commands must mark the lives of God’s people.

To be obedient to God means to do what he says today, regardless of what you have done in the past. It means making flint knives and cutting something away from your life, some bit of flesh that has been the source of disobedience in your life. It means to do this thing that God has commanded, no matter how much it may cost you. 

This is what Jesus did. He bore our “reproach of Egypt” to the cross. For him, obedience to the Father was a way of life, and it gave us a new start. 


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