Click here for an audio version of this blog post.
He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”Genesis 17:12-14
These are the days of intense political correctness, and critical theories. Some wonder how we’ve gotten here. Everyone from Civil War heroes to Founding Fathers and Televangelists to Hollywood stars are being scrutinized. He owned slaves. He Abused women. He embezzled funds. Everyone has a past subject to the worst possible conclusions. No one is free from accusation.
It’s obvious that those who abused their power or position need forgiveness. And what of those who were abused? What of the slaves? What of those who were cheated? It should be no less obvious that those who have been mistreated need redemption. The grace and goodness of God is a treasure for all people.
I read a book once about adult survivors of sexual abuse. The major premise of the book was that these survivors had one need above all others. It was a stunning proposition. Victims need forgiveness more than anything else. You may wonder how anyone could arrive at that conclusion. But certainly you would agree that victims need rescuing.
That makes these words of God to Abraham about circumcision so very precious. This covenant of God’s grace is not reserved for powerful and successful. This covenant is for all people. It includes slaves. It includes the son of a woman who was used and discarded by Abraham and Sarah. God will rescue us all from the just deserts and grave consequences of sin.
Perhaps you have been abused by the powerful people in your live. Maybe those more worldly-wise have taken advantage of your naïveté. You may have walked into a trap that you should have seen coming and been ambushed in front of colleagues or friends. You might have done one of those things to someone else.
We all fit into at least one of these categories. Either by means of Satan’s deceptions and accusations, whiles and schemes, or the subterfuge of our own sinful flesh. We are all in a world of broken relationships and fallen people.
God’s covenant of grace will restore all things to their rightful places. Scales will be rebalanced. Sin will be atoned for, and sinners will be forgiven. Victims will be restored. The high and mighty will be brought low and the lowly will be exalted.
This is shown here in the inclusion of slaves and masters, aliens and Abraham’s own household. We may suffer the consequences of our own failures or others’ sins against us. But we are not removed from God’s reign and reign. Those who embrace that by faith will discover how sweet is the redemption of God.