DEUTERONOMY 10: WHAT DOES THE LORD REQUIRE OF YOU?
THE SECRET CURE FOR STUBBORNNESS
As Moses' speech continues, he speaks beautiful and graphic words over people Moses calls stubborn. Moses says, "circumcise the foreskin of your heart." What does he mean?
Circumcision is the cutting of the excess skin from around the end of the penis. This cutting circumcision, literally to "cut around," was a sign given to Abraham of the covenant that God would keep to make him father of many nations (Genesis 17:9-16).
This image of circumcising hearts was used by biblical writers to remind Israel that circumcision was not meant to be an outward sign of covenant without the inward renewal of the heart and mind (Deut 10:16, 30:6; Jer 4:4).
Stubborn people probably ain't gonna like this, but the secret cure for stubbornness, then, is spiritual heart and mind surgery. The call is not for outward signs of our faith alone but for our hearts and ways of thinking to be transformed. Paul says, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect" (Rom 12:2).
NEXT STEPS: WHAT DOES THE LORD REQUIRE?
You may be familiar with the Micah 6:6-9 text and this question, "What does the LORD require?" but at least this one other time in the Bible we find this question, right here in today's text.
“So now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? Only to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord your God and his decrees that I am commanding you today, for your own well-being. Although heaven and the heaven of heavens belong to the Lord your God, the earth with all that is in it, yet the Lord set his heart in love on your ancestors alone and chose you, their descendants after them, out of all the peoples, as it is today. Circumcise, then, the foreskin of your heart, and do not be stubborn any longer. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall fear the Lord your God; him alone you shall worship; to him you shall hold fast, and by his name you shall swear. He is your praise; he is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things that your own eyes have seen. Your ancestors went down to Egypt seventy persons; and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in heaven (Deut 10:12-22 NRSV)."
Greg Taylor preaches for The Journey: A New Generation Church of Christ. Greg's wife, Jill, teaches math at Broken Arrow High School and Tulsa Community College. Greg and Jill have three adult children, Ashley, Anna, and Jacob. Greg is the author of many books, including his latest co-authored with Randy Harris, Daring Faith: Meeting Jesus in the Book of John.