“Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise . . . the children of Israel . . . and Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins” (Joshua 5:2-3).
I am not going to raise a theological discussion of circumcision but this ancient process has great significance for the Church today. What a painful experience it must have been for the Israelites to remove the foreskin with a sharp knife as a sign to the world that they were joined in a faithful covenant with God! These people had been born in the wilderness and had never been circumcised. And after the event took place, they were helpless and weak for days.
Coming under the knife today means submitting to the sharp, cutting Word of God! “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12). The Word truly cuts: “When they heard that, they were cut to the heart” (Acts 5:33). When Stephen preached, “they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth” (Acts 7:54).
The Bible says the Word of God circumcised our hearts. “Circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God” (Romans 2:29). There is a “circumcision made without hands, in putting off . . . the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ” (Colossians 2:11).
Each of us has within us the “reproach of Egypt” that must be rolled away—all that is of our flesh. And there is an operation in which God’s Spirit cuts away all those lusts and dominions of evil: When the Word of God is preached by God’s anointed in the power and demonstration of the Holy Ghost, it becomes that sharp knife! God has His Joshua’s today and He has commanded them to take this blood-secured, delivered, redeemed and resurrected people and place them under the knife of His Word to remove all traces of idolatry and compromise.