“And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.” – Deuteronomy 30:6
Scripture reading: Joshua 5:1-9
We confess (Belgic Confession Article 34) that in circumcision, God taught Israel the same things He teaches us in our baptism. He said to them, You’re born sinners, but I promise that I will forgive your sins, when you repent and believe in the (foreshadowed) blood of Jesus Christ, and by grace, through faith, I will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love Me with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live (Deuteronomy 30:6).
That helps us to understand that when the LORD commanded Israel to circumcise their sons at Gilgal, He was not just saying, Look, it has been bothering Me for 38 years that your sons have not been circumcised, and we are going to get this fixed up before you take another step.
God was saying, This is the answer to the question, How can people like you be My people, and receive the inheritance I promised you? That’s a very personal question, and we need to know the answer, too. How can I be God’s child? How am I going to make it all the way to the end? God says in His Word and in your baptism, You’ll make it by grace, through faith. I will do it. God puts an end to the doubts of our own souls by providing us with a salvation that is all His work, that is all by grace. All you need to do is trust, and obey.
Suggestions for prayer
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you believe what God has promised you in the gospel, and confirmed in your baptism, that your sins are washed away in Christ, and that He is redeeming you from the power of sin.