REPROACH AND REMEMBRANCE
Joshua 5:8 And it came to pass, when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places in the camp, till they were whole. 9 And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day. 10 And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho. 11 And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day. 12 And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.
Of these events the Apostle Paul instructs us that we should apply them spiritually to our own relationship with the very same Lord God. 1 Corin. 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. For although we will never be in their same geographical location, nor in their times, we will most surely be in these kinds of circumstances as we walk in the Spirit.
First of all, whether we are national Jews or not, all true Spirit-born Christians are “spiritual Jews.” Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
And as such, all Spirit-born Christians, without exception, have participated in a spiritual circumcision! We are most clearly given the definition of the Holy Spirit’s “circumcision” of the heart in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. (Phil. 3:3) Those who worship THE Spirit-God, must, and shall, worship him in spirit! (John 4:24). And their new birth has transformed them by a renewal of their minds, so that they cease to have confidence in the natural man!
On the other hand, those actually circumcised physically, on the eighth day, but who do not keep the law, in a perfect righteousness before God, are then actually the “uncircumcised!” Romans 2:24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. 25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. 26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? 27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?
Jeremiah 9:25 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised; 26 Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.
Poor deluded church people! They yearn to go to the “Holy Land,” not knowing that every place the spiritual believers gather IS holy land! Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
They believe that only national Israel is “God’s chosen people,” when none but sinners of every nation, in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit are, as it were, true Jews! Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
There is only one body of Christ! There is only one church! And none are included therein but only as elected, realized, confessed, blood washed sinners! There is no distinction concerning male, or female, national origin, or rich or poor! 1 Corin. 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
Ephesians 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
In verses eight and nine, listed above, we find that it came to pass that there was an actual day – a twenty four hour period – wherein these travelers were said not to be a reproach to God anymore!
But just what does that word, “reproach” mean? Let us look at the seventeenth chapter of the Book of First Samuel to discover its meaning. First we find a verse that deals both with circumcision and reproach. 1 Samuel 17:26 And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? Goliath, being an uncircumcised Philistine, defied the armies of the Living God to fight with him! And that brought reproach, or shame upon the armies of the Lord! For the word, reproach is the exact same Hebrew word, translated my shame in 1 Samuel 13:13.
Then in verse forty five of this chapter we find the root word from which our word, “reproach” is derived. That Hebrew word is there translated as, thou hast defied! Here is the entire verse: Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
That same root word is also translated into the English in Isaiah 65:7 as, blasphemed me! Therefore we see that the reproach of Egypt was that, like the uncircumcised Goliath, these Israelites, yet to be made obedient to that law of the covenant, were a reproach unto the Lord, the same as if they had been Egyptians! But now that covenant which had been suspended was set in order again, and these became one of the most spiritual of generations in the history of Israel!
There is a godly reproach which every believer must bear, however. That is the reproach of the cross! Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
For those who refuse to do so, desiring to keep their own lives in order to honor themselves, will lose everything! John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. 25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
“Dying with Jesus, by death reckoned mine;
Living with Jesus, a new life divine;
Looking to Jesus, till glory doth shine,
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am thine.”
D. W. Whittle
Then in verse ten of our Joshua Five chapter we read, And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover.
While the circumcision spoke of a future look, of their fellowship with God, the Passover is now observed as a backward look to remember how they came to be freed from Egyptian bondage. And there was no better place to properly have a sincere look at the Passover Lamb’s blood being shed, than as they lay on their cots in their tents recovering from their own blood shed from circumcision!
For true religion, that is, true spiritual salvation, is not just in knowing “of,” or “about” God! True salvation is in knowing God by experience! If we come to know him, it shall be in the fellowship of his sufferings! (Phil. 3:10). I wonder how practicing religionists think that one eternal day they shall praise him around his throne, who have not wept with him here on earth! Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 2 Timothy 2:11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
It is amazing to see that in the Sovereign Grace “camp,” all say that they believe in the “Total Depravity of Man,” but yet there doesn’t seem to be any that count themselves to be depraved! – We need go back to the Passover and remember that we were under the curse of the law! We were without God and without hope in this world, the same as all others! For “ALL have sinned and come short of God’s glory!” But where is the humility of the pardoned sinner to be found among us today?
And the remembrance of our sin being lacking, is the very cause of our lack of proper worship! For praise is directly related to a spiritual awareness of one’s need of forgiveness! Luke 7:47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. We seem to only need a two for a nickel Jesus, for we don’t own ourselves to be much of a sinner!
But what does the Lord command us concerning this? Isaiah 51:1 Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. 2 Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him. 3 For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody. The comfort of Zion is directly dependent upon, and results from her remembering her vulgar beginnings!
Carefully consider these following instructions from the Lord, given through the Apostle Paul: 1 Corin. 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. Now that you have read that phrase, and such were some of you, reread that list of sins again. My! The reality of that will make us see your need of a Great Savior!
And here is a verse that this writer could not properly read without his elite Calvinistic spirit causing his mind to automatically translate differently! Here is what it says: Ephesians 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: But sinful pride always caused him to read it as, “Ye were sometimes IN darkness!” But that is not what it states!
For if we are to claim that we ARE now light, we must also own that we WERE then darkness! Not that we were just IN darkness, but that we were in that deep pit of sin! that we needed to be digged our of the dirt and grime of sin and sins!
It was not the squeaky clean moralist, pridefully praying to himself as God that went down to his house justified! But it was the sinner who owned himself to be vile that God said obtained effectual justification, rather than the other! Read the verse and see the sovereign rule of self exaltation! Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Pastor Gene Breed
October 14, 2011