Faith can be risky. It takes risky faith to stand up for the truth in a world of compromise. It takes risky faith to turn the other cheek or forgive with no guarantee of never being hurt again. It takes risky faith to obey God when it makes little sense to our natural way of thinking.
A hill of foreskins
2 At that time the Lord said to Joshua, “Make flint knives for yourself, and circumcise the sons of Israel again the second time.” 3 So Joshua made flint knives for himself, and circumcised the sons of Israel at the hill of the foreskins (5.2-3).
I imagine all the men reading this portion of Scripture cringed a little when they read about flint knives, circumcision, and “the hill of foreskins.” And all of us women who complain that we somehow have it harder, need to remember this passage and others like it.
This second generation had not been circumcised, just another symptom of their parents disobedience. Before they could go in and take the land God had given them, this covenant sign had to be performed. This must have been a memorable (the hill was named after it) and solemn ceremony.
This was also a huge step of faith, since this mass circumcision made them very vulnerable to attack. In we read about an angry brother who convinced a whole village to get circumcised by promising to allow his sister to marry her rapist. Once they had, he killed them all in revenge.
Remember word and fear was spreading throughout the other nations. This could have been seen as their only chance for victory. But God was faithful to watch over them when they obeyed Him.
But in the natural, it was a risky decision. Risk is often a reality when you step out in faith. When you forgive and turn the other cheek, you risk being struck again (Matt. 5.39). When you stand up for the truth, you risk being persecuted (Matt. 23:34-36). When you do what’s right, some people are not going to like it. The world does not like the light. And sometimes persecution, pain, and rejection come as a result, even from our own families and those closest to us. Continue reading