Genesis 16:1-18:15~Matthew 6:1-24~Psalm 7:1-17~Proverbs 2:1-5

This morning as I finished my reading for the day I decided to read only the OT, Psalms, and Proverbs portions. I have spent lots of time in the NT in the past years and, given that I am starting a rather intense degree program in a few weeks, this seems like a wise choice.

On to today's bits.
Genesis 17:14 Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.
This is another bit of evidence for the importance of people of God as a key theme in Scripture. Here the refusal to carry the sign of the covenant results in being cut off from one's people. God's people are God's people; he sets the parameters, not us.

Genesis 17:24-27 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. That very day Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised. And all the men of his house, those born in the house and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
The sign of the covenant was given to all the men in the house--whether related to Abraham by blood or not. Apparently, blood connection is not the requirement, but rather the requirement is participation in the covenant.


“Unless otherwise noted Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.” http://www.esv.org/


  1. Laura: I really like your observation on Genesis 17. Very insightful. What would be the sign we would carry of the new covenant? Or is there an outword sign? I'll need to think about this one. Maybe start with John 13:34-35 or Mark 12:29-30.

  2. My first notion is that baptism is the equivalent of circumcision. I say this because both are somewhat hidden, both usher one into the community, and both declare one's participation in the covenant. That declaration can be known, but it is not declared to the world, but rather within the community.

    "Love" is more visible and seems to be one thing that should set us apart, declaring us as God's people. I wonder, if love is one of the visible markers, what is the OT equivalent? And are there more visible markers?

  3. Paul seemed to indicate that the physical circumcision of the flesh under the covenant with Abraham symbolized and foreshadowed a "spiritual" circumcision of the heart under Christ's covenant. The regeneration by the Holy Spirit sets the believer apart and grafts him into God's family.

    I think you are right, in that the outward evidence of the Christian is love: "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:35)

  4. I'll need to think about this and figure out how to say what I mean. I've thought about baptism from another perspective (http://lauraswritings.blogspot.com/2005/03/non-baptized-believers-as-teachers.html)
    There I said that baptism "identifies one with God and his people. It is a testimony before the gathered body, declaring what has already occurred in the life of the person being baptized."