Summary of Genesis 17:9-14:
God tells Abraham that he and his descendants must keep His covenant. Every male must be circumcised, which is the sign of the covenant. This is to take place at 8 days old, and this applies to all male, whether adopted or not. If any male has not been circumcised, they are to be cut off from God’s people, as this will be a sign that the covenant has been broken.
Every male on that day was circumcised, including Abraham, his son, Ismael, and all in his household.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 3: Genesis 17:9-14; 23-27
7) “It will be the sign of the covenant between you and me.”
8 ) That he/they are faithful.
9) Having faith is more important than works.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 3: Genesis 17:9-14; 23-27
I love that Abraham obeyed immediately without delay. So, too, are we called to obey immediately as well.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 3: Genesis 17:9-14; 23-27
The cutting of the foreskin represents how God is setting His people apart (cutting them off). It is a physical sign that they are His people. Since males were born into it, it was fitting to be associated with reproduction. This is a sign of faith. Circumcision also helped with cleanliness, which was important in a society where no one bathed. Also, it was a sign of cleansing as well.
With Jesus, we are spiritually circumcised.
Why the 8th day? Childbirth is traumatic on a baby. After all, it goes from a water world to a world of air and newness. After 8 days, the baby’s body will recover faster, and some experts think that because the immune system is in place by now, that the baby will be less likely to get an infection. Doctors believe that a baby’s body can also blood-clot better on day 8 of life.
It’s important to note that the people were part of the covenant through faith. When they rejected circumcision, they were rejecting the covenant that God had granted through grace. Circumcision is not something you do that gets you to heaven, although the early Christians tried to make this so. (Galatians 5:1-15). Now, with the new covenant, you are free to circumcise or not.
Abraham’s immediacy speaks to his faith and his obedience to God’s commands. What does your response say when God tells you to move?