Tag Archives: circumcision

Genesis 12–17: Instant gratification is never instant or gratifying

It’s not easy to leave one’s family, even at 75 years old, but God called Abram out of his father’s house for his own good. This was Abram’s first test. 

In the Torah passage לֶךְ-לְךָ Lech Lecha/Lekh Lekha (“go forth,” Genesis 12:1-17:27), we learn that Abram’s faith came from both hearing God’s instruction and doing it. Doing matters, not just hearing. Hearing is easy, doing is much more involved and more difficult. When our life is smooth and we get instant gratification, it’s easy to continue walking in a way that brings a quick blessing. But when we are doing something that is right but we do not receive instant gratification, it’s harder to continue doing what is right.

When God tells us to do the right thing but we don’t want to do it, it’s hard to do it anyway.

Continue reading Genesis 12–17: Instant gratification is never instant or gratifying

Genesis 18:1–22:24: Abraham learns faith in God despite his trust issues

Do we trust God in His promises? We can come up with all sorts of ideas about God. But if we don’t really trust Him and His leading, why bother following? These are questions tackled in this discussion on the Torah portion וירא Vayera (“and He appeared”), covering Genesis 18-22. Abraham is shown to have trust issues up to his great test of faith. At that point, he sees something. This passage is all about the Promised One — the Mashiakh (Messiah) — represented by Abraham’s son Yitzkhak (Isaac).

Continue reading Genesis 18:1–22:24: Abraham learns faith in God despite his trust issues

God ‘cuts off’ parts of House of God to promote growth

Daniel AgeeThere’s a common theme occurring throughout the Hebrew Roots/Messianic community recently — separation and regrouping. We also see in Scripture the recurring symbol of “cutting off” in an agricultural sense to talk about God’s action in improving the health of the “vine” of Israel. It’s OK when God cuts off parts of the vine to promote growth. It’s OK if there is a time of not producing fruit.

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Exodus 6: Moshe of ‘uncircumcised lips’ learns The Name

Richard AgeeMoshe (Moses) in Exodus 6 said his lips were “uncircumcised” and insisted that prevented him from sharing The Name of God to Yisra’el (Israel). We know about circumcision of a man’s privates and metaphorically of the “heart,” but what is this, and how is it connected to sharing knowledge of The Name?

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Exodus 3-5: Moshe brings signs of God’s Name and staff to Mitsraim; pharaoh increases oppression of Yisra’el

Richard AgeeThe account of Moshe (Moses) encountering God via the burning bush has spawned a number of interpretations and explanations about who Moshe encountered, how the bush could be burning yet not consumed, etc. Yet the declaration of the Name of God there and the signs God gave Moshe to show the leaders of Yisra’el is the important element. The Name and the signs would strengthen not only Moshe but the leadership for something powerful God would do on Earth via Yisra’el in the mighty empire of Mitsraim (Egypt).

This study also explores the seeming strange vignette of God on the warpath against Moshe’s family, placated only by Tzipporah’s circumcising the son. This appears to be a foreshadowing of the 10th plague against Mitsraim.

Continue reading Exodus 3-5: Moshe brings signs of God’s Name and staff to Mitsraim; pharaoh increases oppression of Yisra’el

Genesis 33-34: Ya’akov reconciles with Esau, returns to the Land; Shimon, Levi avenge Dinah

Richard AgeeHumility and loyalty are underlying teachings of Genesis 33-34. The phrase “women and children first” is held up as selfless chivalry, but it it seems Ya’akov (Jacob) wasn’t so chivalric in his sending his wives and children ahead of him toward what he thought would be his heavily armed and bloodthirsty brother, Esau. Then there’s the disaster that followed the defilement of Ya’akov’s daughter, Dinah, whose forceable conquering at the hands of a city’s “first son” led to the deaths of all the men and the enslavement of the women and children of that city by the hands of two of Ya’akov’s sons.

Continue reading Genesis 33-34: Ya’akov reconciles with Esau, returns to the Land; Shimon, Levi avenge Dinah

Mark of a gift: Messianic meaning of circumcision

Daniel AgeeModern society views the rite of circumcision to be backward at best and barbaric at worst. Yet, it actually is a cutting memorial of what God has cut away from the faithful — men and women — through the Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus).

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