Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Israelites' Passovers

We've been reading the stories from Exodus to Joshua, about the wilderness wanderings. Today's story was the first celebration of the Passover in the Promised Land. What struck me, though, was the preceding verses in Joshua 5. The men under age 40 needed to be circumcised because they hadn't been doing that since they left Egypt.

That leaves me with lots to wonder about. Does this mean that the parents who died in the wilderness were not believers? If they didn't believe the promises of God, they would not desire to bring their children into the covenant, and thus wouldn't bother to circumcise their baby boys.

Does this mean that there were no Passover celebrations during the 39 years after the Israelites refused to go into Canaan? The Torah doesn't mention Passover celebrations during those years, but that doesn't mean they didn't happen. But those who are uncircumcised could not participate in the feast -- just like those who are not baptized may not commune.

I don't know what all this means, but there is one thing that is certain. In light of this, God's grace and mercy and abounding faithfulness is even more overwhelming. If we are faithless, He is faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. And boy, you sure do see it here when you realize that, for all those years, the Israelites didn't even circ their children. Still, God stood by His promises.

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