For the proclamation of the Gospel and the edification of the Body of Christ
Looking to His Word
The Word of God contains all God's advice for His people. The times change, but His principles remain unalterable.
Reading: 2 Tim. 3:16; Joshua 1:5, 9, 12-13; Exodus 4:18-26.
It is of supreme importance to consider the word of the Lord and the servants who brought it, to receive their experiences and to revise their achievements carefully.
In these last days, it is necessary to ask: why are there generations that get lost and others that please the heart of the Lord, and as a result achieve victories? What is the secret? We respond by saying that one of the great secrets was and is to keep the word of the Lord, and to consider the servants who preceded us and who spoke to us of the Word.
Two different generations
In light of chapter 1 of the book of Joshua, we see why their generation pleased the Lord. After Moses died, the Lord speaks to Joshua. In verse 7 He tells him: "Only be strong and very courageous, to observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest have good success whithersoever thou goest." In verse 13, Joshua says: "Remember the word which Moses the servant of Jehovah commanded you." He not only had in mind the words directly spoken by the Lord, but also remembered those of Moses.
We cannot say: "I have enough just from what the Lord speaks to me through the Bible." We have to consider the word and the brothers who preceded us. For Joshua, keeping the word brought him wisdom, power and victory over his enemies. It is worth considering that all the tribes were united in days of Joshua.
But later on, another generation came along (Judges 2:11-13, 20). And here we notice the almost total abandonment of the word, and forgetting Joshua, a servant of the Lord. The result was humiliation before their enemies, defeats, captivity, poverty, ruin. How different to the previous generation!
There is an expression that is repeated throughout the book of Judges: "every man did that which was right in his own eyes." When democracy exists among the people of God, the result is fatal. Most walk and live with earthly principles; human strategies are used to do the work of the Lord.
What generation will we be, or what generation are we destined to be? Will we receive God's legacy from the brothers who preceded us? Will we look at their walk and will we imitate their faith?
God wants to kill Moses
In Exodus 4:18-26 there is an important story in relation to what we are saying, when the Lord, at a lodging place, came out to meet Moses and wanted to kill him. On this occasion, God shows the discontent of His heart toward His servant Moses.
We think: If God sends him to Egypt taking a message of judgment for Pharaoh and a message of redemption for Israel, His people, why is it that He goes out to kill him? What sin had this servant of the Lord committed? Verse 25 clarifies why: "Then Zipporah took a flint, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet; and she said, Surely a bridegroom of blood art thou to me."
The attitude of Zipporah tells us that both knew that they had to circumcise their son, but they thought that the Lord God would allow it to pass, or perhaps He would have forgotten, or that being Moses, the chosen servant, he might have some special treatment. But God cannot be deceived. In Exodus 3, when the Lord calls Moses, He tells him: "I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham." In other words: "What I am for Abraham, I will be for you, with the same principles, demands and statutes."
In Genesis 17, God speaks to Abraham about circumcision, making a covenant of identification with His people, and mainly with Abraham's family. The covenant consisted in circumcising all males. If some were uncircumcised, they had to be cut off from the people, because the Lord said: "he hath broken my covenant."
But here we see Moses seeking to serve God while having an issue still to deal with.
We sometimes erroneously think that God only takes account of the visible and grotesque sins, and not those hidden ones that even we consider unnecessary to judge. Circumcision in the New Covenant is related to the seal of the Holy Spirit, but also spiritually means the loss of our natural strength, the carnal man being displaced from his passions and desires.
In the Old Covenant, circumcision was painful and produced weakness. So, we might suggest that Moses and Zipporah didn't want to circumcise their son, so as to not see him suffer, and they both consented not to circumcise him. How tremendous it is when the husband, a servant of the Lord, is demanded to do something by the Lord, and he consciously doesn't do it! And if the wife is not a helper to the husband in this sense, the Lord will dislike such a thing, and will bring fatality to the family.
It is necessary to circumcise the children
To seek to serve to the Lord while something remains unresolved is the most senseless thing that we can do. In any moment, the Lord will come out to meet us, just as what happened to Moses at the lodging place. Let us ask: How many sons do we have rooted in the soul that we don't want to circumcise? We will name some: pride, high concept of oneself, arrogance, desire for leadership, arrogance, consenting to some darkness. Be Careful! The judgment of the Lord comes closer. We will be wise if we are repentant and all the sons that are ingrained in our hearts be circumcised right now.
How is our life before the Lord, our fellowship with the brothers, our fellowship with the Lord's table? My offerings, my responsibilities as a servant, as a father, as a citizen, as a neighbor, as a work colleague? The Lord sees everything. In relation to offerings, for example, He says: "Yet ye rob me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. " (Malachi 3:18). And in the breaking of the bread, for example, do I have something against my brother (even though he may be far away)?
We sometimes forget the word, and we are hearers and not doers of it. We forget the God of the New Testament, of His judgments, and we dive into the river of grace and mercy. But doesn't it make us tremble when we read: "My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; And I am afraid of thy judgments?" (Psalms 119:120). The God of Paul, of the apostles, of the New Testament, of all our brothers that have preceded us, is this perhaps not our God? Is the God who executed judgment on Ananias and Sapphira, not also our God?
I now speak to parents: Because of our 'love' for our children, often we don't restrict them in anything, because we fear having and argument with them. But, if we do not "circumcise" them-that is to say, if we don't obey the Lord regarding them, what generation are we forming? What legacy of God will we leave them? I hope that, if this is our situation, let us repent and let us judge our sins, and let us circumcise the children, and then the Lord will be pleased with us.
And repentance is not only matter of tears on the cheeks: it is more than that. Repentance is a radical change of attitude. Thus one is sanctified to the Lord. Whatever the wrongdoing, such is the repentance. Do we plan to try to deceive God and to carry on happily coming to the meetings, singing songs, and living a lifetime in a vicious circle?
I want to be a little more specific: The Lord wants to circumcise all that has been pending for many years. Have you loved your work more than Him, your company, your money, your family, your friendships, your comforts? The Lord has spoken to you time and again, and you have heard and you have not repented. I tell you that God will come out to meet you at any moment.
For those who seek to serve the Lord, nothing will be left uncovered. And when I say "to serve the Lord" I am not only speaking of those who have a connoted ministry or some name in the church. We know that we are all kings and priests; we are all useful in the house of the Lord.
It is said of Moses that he became a meek man, and that he was faithful in all the Lord's house. But this matter of his son's circumcision, God could not allow it pass by. Do you think that it will be different with you; that the Lord will make an exception because you are His special child? Let us not be childish in our form of thinking!
Many of us, when that moment arrives, when the Lord comes out to kill us, we lower the profile, the level of the Lord's discontent, and because of our shame, or even because we love ourselves too much, we end up saying: "The Lord is testing me", when in truth, it is a judgment that has fallen upon our life.
I ask that the Lord would make us reflect on this: "As much as in you lieth, be at peace with all men." We have to revise our life, and ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate our darkness. May the Lord help us. Blessed is the Lord!