I was born to a Jewish father and a Jewish mother. They were each born to a Jewish father and mother. They brought us up with a Jewish identity through circumcision, observance of Jewish holy-days, Bar-Mitzva (‘Son of Commandment’). We lived with an awareness of being Jewish in a Gentile society, and an even larger world. We sought our acceptance by the Gentile Christians, hoping to prove ourselves worthy in their eyes, while also considering ourselves as much Jewish in our identity as Conservative Jews in comparison to Orthodox Judaism, and more Jewish in our identity and practice (praxis) in contrast to Reform Jews. We are God’sChosen and Peculiar People, even if we did not personally know Him who chose us, nor understand why. We are the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Israel was our special nation and land, even if we did not want to live there.
I was born Jew-ish; I was born-again a Jew! Continue reading “TO BE A JEW – 7 Dec 2008”
Some of you were with us for E’s circumcision, and it is good to have another occasion to celebrate together the LORD our God, both during this week of Succot (the Feast of Booths, or of Ingathering), and also in remembering His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob by the circumcising of our second son, T Shimon. (T’s means ‘dew’, and his middle name, Shimon, is a testimony of our faith that the promised inheritance to Simeon, Jacob’s son and the Tribe of Israel, will be fulfilled: he will inherit Beer Sheva in the apportionment of the Land of Israel after Yeshua returns to set up His kingdom. Our prayer is that T will have a better inheritance in Christ by being born-again before the Lord returns.)
The circumcision of the flesh of every male Jew is a symbol both of God’s covenant and also of His ways of fulfilling His promises and purposes for His treasured people Israel. Succot is a testimony of a people at peace with their God – a people whose heart has been circumcised – whose soul has been afflicted, and then refreshed and revived through God’s gracious atonement for sin – and among whom YHVH is pleased to dwell in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Randi and I are circumcising T as his parents in willing obedience to the LORD and to His honor and glory. But it will amount to nothing if either we or T should place any confidence in the flesh and unless T should circumcise himself to the only wise God and Savior through personal faith and in a spirit of meekness.
Jacob will know the blessings of the covenant when, as Israel, he becomes a true son of Abraham, being justified through personal faith in God Almighty, Who can raise the dead to life in order to fulfill His Word. As it is written, “In Isaac shall thy seed be called.” (Gen 21:12; Rom 9:7) “He (Jesus Christ) shall see His seed and the travail of His soul, and be satisfied.” (Is 53:10-11) “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou will not despise.” (Ps 51:19 Heb.)
Gen 17:1,7,10-14 – Establishment of the covenant by YHVH with Abram (Abraham); identification with and relationship to the people, the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
John 7:22 – The circumcision is not of Moses, but of the fathers.
Deut 10:15-19 – Circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff-necked.
Deut 30:1-6 — The LORD will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love YHVH thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
Jer 4:1-4 – Circumcise yourselves to YHVH.
Jer 9:22-25 – Glory in the LORD; there is no difference –in themselves—between the circumcised and uncircumcised.
Rom 2:28 – 3:2 – For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly [only]; neither is it circumcision which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart – in the spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. What advantage then has the Jew? Or what profit is there in circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because unto them (us) were committed the oracles of God.
1Cor 7:19 – Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but rather the keeping of the commandments of God. (E Haim means “stone of life”; our prayer is that he will become a “living stone” — e chaya — through spiritual new birth by repentance and faith in the gospel at an early age.)
Gal 5:6 – For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
Philp 3:3 – For we are the circumcision which worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.