By: Ely Lagajino
Obey My voice and I will be your God and ye shall be My people. Jeremiah 7:23 (KJV)
I took a break from canvassing and visited home. Two of my younger brothers, a lady visitor and my mom just sang the opening song for evening worship, when I arrived. Mother asked my youngest brother to read Joshua 5:3. We waited but he could not read the verse, instead he smiled. My second year high school brother said, “You’re in grade six but you can’t read?”
He got the Bible and tried to read but he protested that the verse was really hard to read. Mother turned to me, I confirmed that the Bicol translation wasn’t easy to pronounce.
“What happened to my children from elementary to college; they can’t read a simple Bible verse?” Mother complained to the visitor; picked up the Bible and read. We all laughed including our lady visitor upon hearing the word “circumcise.”
The word circumcise in Bicol became a taboo street word used by young people for bullying. My brothers could hardly believe that it was written in the Bible.
When Abraham was 99 years old the Lord appeared to him to confirm the covenant between Him and Abraham, and his offspring; and circumcision was the sign. The Lord promised to make them a great nation and to inherit the whole land of Canaan.
God reminded Abraham, to keep the covenant. Every male must undergo circumcision as a sign that they were devoted to the service of God and separate from idolaters.
After the miraculous crossing of the Jordan River the Israelites set up their camp at the plain of Jericho which they called Gilgal. This place served as temporary site of Israel’s government. The Lord told Joshua before taking the Promised Land to circumcise the males as a sign of the covenant. This rite was suspended because they rejected God during the rebellion at Kadesh. Once more God accepted Israel as His own people and circumcision should be restored.
Today circumcision is done for health reasons and baptism has become the sign of accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.
PP p.534, 535