Photo by Ross Findon
And the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” And so the name of the place is called Gilgal to this day.Joshua 5:9 NIV
The children of Israel have been in the wilderness for forty years now. But, a time has come for them to cross over to Canaan, the land of the promise. Before they could cross over to Canaan, God gave Joshua an instruction to circumcise every male.
Circumcision was an outward sign of their covenant with God. It was a sign that reminded them that they belonged to God. But circumcision here has more significance than just a reminder of the covenant that God had made with them. It was also a way of removing everything they had picked up while in Egypt. God said, with this, I have taken off the reproach of Egypt from you.
Egypt was a place of slavery; a place of oppression and shame, and all these needed to be removed in order for them to proceed into the promises of God.
Our place of rolling away.
We all have a symbolic Egypt before we come to Christ. We have our place of slavery; our place of pain and shame. We have things that have brought us reproach like the Israelites in Egypt. God wants to roll all these away to prepare us for the blessings. If we enter into seasons of blessings without the rolling away, we cannot be able to fully enjoy them.
There has to be a circumcision.
Circumcision wasn’t a pleasant experience but it was necessary for them and it is for us.
In him, you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ. 2 Colossians 2:11
We are told that Christ is the one who does the circumcision for us, but it is not a literal circumcision but a spiritual one. Circumcision is important to put off our flesh nature.
Our circumcision is of the heart. The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. Deuteronomy 30:6 The purpose is to enable us to love God with all our hearts and souls. Without it, we cannot be able to.
There is a self circumcision required. Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your heart…Jeremiah 4:4
We make a choice to remove the hardness on our hearts that hinders us from pursuing God wholeheartedly.
The reproach is removed.
Everything that has made us feel ashamed is taken away in Christ. We all have a personal Gilgal where God meets with us and rolls away the shame, the reproach, the disappointment, and the brokenness. In exchange, He gives us a new beginning in Him. We are promised… For you will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. Isaiah 54:4
It was necessary that God takes away the shame of Egypt for the Israelites because it would color and defile the promises of God for them. It would also hinder them from fully enjoying the promised land.
What has brought you shame and reproach in your life? A broken relationship? A divorce? A mistake you made in your youth? What is that thing that feels like it will always be a part of you? It doesn’t have to. God has a Gilgal for each one of us. Our Gilgal is at the foot of the cross where we bring Him all our shame and reproach and we exchange it for His love. By canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:14
We can live free of shame because He has canceled the debt for us. We can leave it all at Gilgal and proceed to the promises that God has for us in Him.
We leave Egypt behind.
Egypt wasn’t just a place of slavery it was also a place of lack and limitation. Because they had lived so long in this environment they didn’t know how to step out of lack and limitation. Gilgal was also a place for rolling away the things that hindered God in the wilderness.
A lack mentality will rob us of the blessings of God. We cannot enter the Promised Land with a lack mindset. We also cannot enter in with a limited mindset.
Where are we limiting God because we have lived in a season of not enough? Where are we hindering God with a poverty mindset? Where are we hindering God because we refuse to believe God beyond our circumstances? Where are we still living in lack even though God has made available for us His promises?
We have to decide that Egypt doesn’t come with us into the next season. At Gilgal, we have to allow God to roll away everything that has limited Him and us in the last season. We have to decide I will go where God wants me to go. I will do what God has called me to do. And I will enjoy to the full all the blessings that God has given me.
My prayer for you is that you will get to your Gilgal and in this place; God will roll away everything in your life that shouldn’t come with you to the next season of your life. And that you will submit to the circumcision of the Lord because it is necessary for your walk with Him.