The AMI QT Devotionals from October 30-November 5 are provided by Emerson Lin. Emerson, a graduate of University of California, San Diego, serves as staff at Kairos Christian Church, while studying at Talbot School of Theology. He is married to Annie. They will soon leave for E. Asia to serve as missionaries.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
“A Covenant to Remember”
Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”
In elementary school, my friend and I would make pacts with each other. We promised to be best friends forever and to write letters if one of us moved away. To seal the pact, we drew a picture of our favorite superhero and gave it to each another. Unfortunately, both of these promises were broken by the time we moved onto middle school.
In this passage, God makes a covenant with Abraham and his descendants. The covenant entails that if Abraham and his descendants follow the Lord, He will flourish them as a people group: “The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you: and I will be their God” (v. 8).
Why did God heavily emphasize circumcision to Abraham in regard to the covenant? Like my friend and I, humanity is prone to break covenants with the Lord. In Scripture, there is a cycle of the Israelites disobeying the law of God and God restoring them. Therefore, to make things clear for the Israelites, God commands Abraham to circumcise males, so that it will be a constant reminder to follow the Lord.
As believers, we constantly forget our covenant with the Lord. We understand that we are saved, yet we are quick to disobey and follow our own ways. However, the Lord helps us remember our covenant with Him through His sacraments. As we take the bread and the wine, we are reminded of the covenant God established with us through the blood of Jesus. This is God’s grace to us!
Prayer: Lord, help me to remember Your faithfulness in my life. I know that I am prone to forget, yet Your grace reminds me that Your ways are always better than mine. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Acts 24
Lunch Break Study
Read Joshua 4:4-7: So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5 and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, 6 to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 7 tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”
Questions to Consider
- What do the stones serve as? (v. 7)
- Apart from the current Israelites, who else was the memorial for? Why is this important? (v.6)
- The stones serve as a reminder for the people that God stopped the flow of the Jordan.
- Apart from the current Israelites, this memorial was intended for the Israelite children. It was expected for the parents to re-visit this memorial and teach their children about the faithfulness of God. As future descendants become more distant from this great miracle, they are more likely to forget. Therefore, it is the responsibility of past generations to remind them of God’s faithfulness.
In light of today’s sharing, what are some ways that you help remind yourself of the Lord’s covenant with you? If you are prone to forget, how can you better remember His faithfulness in your life?