by Steve Jones

Unfinished Business
Steve Jones
Joshua 5:2-9

INTRODUCTION: The children in my family sometimes tease my parents about their antiquated will. As it now stands, if anything ever happens to them, my older sister has custody of my 37 year old brother and my 41 year old self. A prospect none of us looks forward to with anticipation.

Children sometimes inherit the unfinished business of their parents - and so it was with the children of Israel under Joshua's command. In the unusual passage we are studying today we will find a lesson in transformation.


The thought of forty thousand adult men having to endure the rite of circumcision is nothing if not painful. To make matters worse, this was a pain that could have been avoided.

The rite of circumcision was first introduced to Abraham as a sign of the covenant, or agreement, between him and God.

Genesis 17:9-14 'Then God said to Abraham, 'As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised...My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.''

Circumcision was later codified by God into the Law of Moses in Leviticus 12:3.

So we see that this operation should have been performed on the Israelite males when they were eight-day-old babies. It was an obligation of the parents to their children but an obligation these parents neglected to fulfill. The neglect of these Israelite parents paved the way for some extreme pain in the lives of their children when the ...

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