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Children of the Covenant

Words of Faith Final

Children of the Covenant

Words of Faith 8-26-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Joshua 5

    Now when all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan and all the Canaanite kings along the coast heard how the Lord had dried up the Jordan before the Israelites until we had crossed over, their hearts melted and they no longer had the courage to face the Israelites.

    [2] At that time the Lord said to Joshua, "Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelites again." [3] So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the Israelites at Gibeath Haaraloth.

    [4] Now this is why he did so: All those who came out of Egypt--all the men of military age--died in the desert on the way after leaving Egypt. [5] All the people that came out had been circumcised, but all the people born in the desert during the journey from Egypt had not. [6] The Israelites had moved about in the desert forty years until all the men who were of military age when they left Egypt had died, since they had not obeyed the Lord. For the Lord had sworn to them that they would not see the land that he had solemnly promised their fathers to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey. [7] So he raised up their sons in their place, and these were the ones Joshua circumcised. They were still uncircumcised because they had not been circumcised on the way. [8] And after the whole nation had been circumcised, they remained where they were in camp until they were healed.

    [9] Then the Lord said to Joshua, "Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you." So the place has been called Gilgal to this day.


      It is difficult to underestimate the gravity of this moment in biblical history. It sits alongside the night of the Passover— the celebration of victory by the Red Sea—and the giving of the Ten Commandments. Huge. This was the beginning of a whole new chapter for God’s people.

      The Israelites were now miraculously delivered into the Promised Land.  This happened in a manner very similar to the deliverance out of Egypt, the passage into Canaan was through water. These events struck fear in the hearts of the Canaanite kings. Clearly, a mighty God was with these people!

       So, what is the first thing you do on Day One in the Promised Land? 

       The Lord called for a renewal of the Covenant of circumcision. It may seem odd, especially to the modern mind.  This was a surgical ritual that required some time for recovery.  A military strategist would have rejected this plan.  But for these people of God, it was vital. Even the recovery time needed was a reminder of their absolute dependence upon God.

       Since the time of the Exodus, the ritual of circumcision had not been practiced. We don’t know exactly why.  It may have been impractical in the desert. Israel had disobeyed the Lord thirty-eight years earlier when they stood on the southern border of the Promised Land. Discouraged by the report of their spies, they did not believe God and would not obey His command to invade the land.  All of the military-age men had died during the forty years in the desert. A whole generation marked by disobedience and unbelief had died off.  It was time to renew the Covenant relationship with Almighty God.

        All this was a fulfillment of the promise in Numbers 14:31: "As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected."

       The place would be remembered as Gilgal. The Hebrew word sounds like the word “to roll.” This place was marked and remembered. This is where God brought the people into the Promise. This is where the reproach of Egypt has been rolled away.

       The word for Covenant means “to cut.”  A Covenant is cut and involves blood. For Christian believers, our New Covenant with God was also "cut" by the shedding of blood, the blood of Jesus. Our New Covenant is also marked by water and a ritual called baptism. Baptism for a believer celebrates the work of God to deliver us through the waters out of slavery and into the Promise. We celebrate that, by His grace, Jesus has rolled away the reproach of sin and death. We are no longer slaves to sin.

       In this short passage, we also vividly see the passing of legacy and heritage to a new generation. There is a lot of talk these days that pits one generation against one another. Whether it is a complaint about “the millennials” or generalizations about “the boomers,” you can hear it almost everywhere. 

     This passage is a reminder that whatever generation we may be part of, we are only temporary on this earth. The day will come when we will not be here. Another generation will be taking up the mantle of God’s Promises.

       We often hear people ask— What kind of world are we leaving for our children’s children? It is a much bigger question than education, jobs, and security. Will our children’s children walk in the Promise? Will they know a New Covenant relationship with God in Jesus?  Will they know and spread the Gospel of freedom? Will they be in bondage to the things of Egypt, or set free to know the Promise of God? Will they be children of the New Covenant?     


      Father God, I rejoice in Your amazing grace. Thank You for delivering Your people out of the bondage of sin and death. Thank You for making a way for me to live within Your promises.  Give me strength and grace in these days to pass the legacy of Your Promise to the next generation. In Jesus’ Name.


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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2005, 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.