Day 6: Lech Lecha/Genesis 17:7-27
Just who are the descendants of Abraham who inherit the Covenant and the Promised Land? This question has plagued humanity in both grand and terrifying ways. There are many on earth who just don’t care who Abraham was or about the Covenant established by Elohim with Abraham and his descendants. Either they do not care to know this Elohim or they are idolaters who think they have found peace in false religion and false hope. Removing these people out of the equation, there are still many people claiming the position of heirs through Abraham.
Populations claim to be beneficiaries, such as the vying sects of Christianity, the varying factions of Judaism any number of Johnny-come-lately religions laying claim to being “Israel,” and, of course, the multitude of Muslims thinking they are the only true heirs apparent. Some of these wanna-be heirs are true posterity of Abraham’s teachings (Jewish genealogy without righteous actions or faith), while others have perverted his Covenant to corrupted means and ends (Muslims, even Christians not keeping Covenant). While it would be simple to say Ishmael produced the “bad” seed and Isaac the good, it’s definitely not that easy to delineate.
The true descendants of Abraham, named through Isaac (B’reisheet 21:12), are those with the sign of the Covenant upon them. For many, their bloodline can be physically traced back to the lineage of Abraham, and an outward show of this Covenant is upon each male. Others have taken this sign upon themselves and keep Covenant without the physical pedigree.
Circumcision is done as a sign upon Hebrew male children. It is more than a tradition, it is a Torah mandate handed down from generation to generation. Alas, there are many in the Arab world who practice similar traditions in the name of their false god and religion. They, too, are descendent from Abraham, but that does not make them fellow heirs to the Promise or make them the Promised Seed.
Modern-day ancestry reveals Jewish folk that have been circumcised; yet, they are yet as secular as any other humanist. Moreover, many a person has called themselves a Christian and been fleshly circumcised as a child but have no relationship with Yeshua. For the Jewish man, a flesh wound does not heal to make the man whole with the Creator without the virtue of belief in Elohim as the only Elohim, faithfulness to keep His Covenant, and keeping Covenant through the Ruach without the trappings of religion or tradition.
Furthermore, a Christian does not gain eternity through weekly or daily osmosis at a church building or through parents’ convictions or simply by being a good person. He, too, must find favor in YHVH’s sight through the personage of Yeshua in order to find acceptance before the throne, even if fleshly circumcision was done. The necessity for any man to be seen through the righteousness of Yeshua is to accept His call, confess his sinfulness, repent, and to be circumcised of heart and not in flesh alone. Without the surgical skills of the Ruach haKodesh,—Who cuts the old man out of the heart and inscribes Torah on the walls of that same heart—, there are only dead works and a foreigner feigning spirituality. All the circumcised men on earth amount to nothing if they do not have an abiding relationship with Yeshua, founded from the conviction placed in the heart by the Ruach of YHVH.
It’s interesting that the incised male fleshiness is the source of the seed that the lineage can be traced to Miriam, mother of Messiah. It was not man who ultimately progenoted the seed to create Yeshua. It was woman who carried the seed, conceived from the Ruach haKodesh. Mariam was circumcised of heart so as to hear the voice of YHVH and be found as a pure vessel for such an assignment.
Unlike man, who would need the sign of the Covenant outwardly and inwardly, Miriam was found to be an heir to Promise in heart and mind, wholly belonging to Elohim. That is where each man must come if he is to be used in such magnificence. Each person has the opportunity to bear Messiah from their own being. It is not the loins of believing men and women that bring forth Messiah. It is the hearts, souls, and minds of YHVH’s betrothed helpmate ushers Yeshua into every circumstance of their lives, pointing to Him as the only Way, Truth, and Life to the Father.
Both, circumcision in the flesh and of the heart, are mandatory for the sake of being called Abraham’s descendants. Many modern Christians would argue that the fleshly sign has been done away with as the heart is what counts. To be sure, YHVH reaches for the heart first and foremost. Ancient Israel missed out on much of Elohim’s instructions, even as Moshe implored that nation to be circumcised of heart (Devarim 10:16). It was not a new concept, but a logical reality to what the physical circumcision pointed and a call for men to accept.
Like walking and worshipping in Truth and in the Ruach, circumcision is both physical and spiritual. Sometimes, the physical Truth reminds us to walk in the Ruach and not in the flesh, which should be dead and cast away, just like physical circumcision. Often, the Ruach reminds us to physically be responsible and righteous with YHVH’s Truth and not give homage in lip service alone. Deeds count since “faith without works is dead.” That is the fruit others see, including YHVH.
This is not to insinuate that a believing man is abandoned by YHVH if not circumcised in the flesh; but, it should be a constant reminder of how to walk before his Elohim. Moreover, the heart’s circumcision/inscription, written by the Ruach, leads the believer to Truth and is, in fact, the inscription of Torah made personal. A sojourner (of the nations) with Israel may have fleshly surgery and not heart surgery. He may remain a foreigner observing the Covenant from a distant, but not entering into Covenant as a Hebrew or true Israelite (not Israeli). However, the one who has died to the flesh, receiving the heart surgery of circumcision, can cross over to be heirs of the promises of Abraham. He, also, is responsible to keep Covenant just as YHVH revealed it.
When these actions are done in faith, and the heart is inscribed by the Ruach, the believer has become a fertile soil for the Seed of Righteousness (planted by the Ruach) to take root and produce much fruit (that resembles Yeshua’s fruit). This, in turn, leads the believer to continue keeping Covenant as both internal and external signs to YHVH that Yeshua is in them, along with the Covenant of Promise.
Dwell upon Jeremiah 31:31-33, “‘Behold, days are coming,'” declares YHVH, ‘when I will make a new [fresh] Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the Covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,’ declares YHVH. ‘But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,’ declares YHVH, ‘I will put My Law [Torah] within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.”