Briefly from "wire reports" CDC: circumcision gains outweigh risks - "health officials today released a draft of long awaited federal guidelines on circumcision, saying medical evidence supports having the procedure done..." and "the scientific evidence is clear that the benefits outweighs the risk". "Germs can grow underneath the foreskin, and CDC officials said the procedure can lower the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, penile cancer and even urinary tract infections".
Genesis 17:9 "And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. 11"And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you." 12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed."Let's take a look at the time frame. The Abrahamic Covenant was made in about 2091 B.C. today is 2014. Hence, God was way ahead of scientists... and the government. There were 4105 years before God instituted circumcision and it's benefits finally recognized as beneficial. The "Good Doctor" God has more credibility than millions of physicians over the centuries! It makes one wonder why God is criticized by science yet they are merely discovering what God knew all along!
Circumcision was to "seal the deal". The Abrahamic Covenant was threefold: 1) to make Abraham's seed a great nation, 2) to indenture to Abraham The Promised Land, and 3) to make Abraham the father of many nations. The "seal" for the Covenant was circumcision. The Hebrew word for "seal" is "to cut".
Furthermore, circumcision was a prediction of tabernacle sacrifice. The foreskin of the penis was cut off to make the male ceremonially clean. It was symbolic of the sacrifice of animals on the altar to atone for the sins of the Hebrew nation. Rather than sacrificing the entire (or actually clean) parts of the animal, it was only necessary to sacrifice a small amount of flesh. The animal sacrifice was for the cleanings of sin and likewise, the circumcision represented the same.
In effect, where we shake hands when a deal is made today, or notarize a signature on a piece of paper, circumcision was the seal chosen by God. The deal was: if I bless you are expected to obey! Obedience was submitting to circumcision. It was only the males because the males were responsible for the righteousness of the entire household.
Circumcision seals the deal after the coming of Jesus! It's not the foreskin which is cut away after the cleansing ceremony, it's the heart!
Romans 2:29 "But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."As a result of Jesus coming circumcision of the foreskin is no longer a requirement, but something is still needed to "seal the deal".
Yes, there is a "new deal".
Acts 16:31 "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved..."Salvation is free! The covenant is of the one part. If we believe, then we shall be saved. To seal this covenant (Covenant of Grace), what shall we do? Obey!
Mark 16:16 "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved..."The Abrahamic Covenant was sealed with circumcision. The Covenant of Grace is sealed with baptism. Hence, circumcision is a prototype of baptism and is an act of obedience to "seal" the covenant. There are arguments as to whether baptism is a sacrament (saving), but the way I understand scripture, it's obedience; closing the deal with God! Along with the immersion into water goes circumcision of the heart. The decay within the heart is cut out by Holy Spirit and is replaced with new flesh. The old person becomes new!
2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."And the ultimate evidence that circumcision is symbolic of baptism:
Colossians 2:11 "In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead."It would appear that rather than cutting off a slight bit of the flesh as in circumcision, Jesus circumcises the entire person in baptism! (The heart goes with it!) It's not the same, but one represents the other. Everything God did and required in olden days meant something which pointed toward Jesus! It was all planned. God's methods are not by accident.
I have focused on the spiritual cleanliness when a believer is circumcised. However, part of the Mosaic Law are "dietary laws". It's what Jews ate, when they ate, what they eat, etc. Along with dietary laws there is ceremonial cleansing. These "laws" were necessary to fulfill the Abrahamic Covenant. How could the seed of Abraham become a great nation and populate the earth when they did things the pagans do which are unhealthy? To fulfill the covenant God gave them laws for self-preservation. They were to eat only clean things, wash thoroughly at all times and the ultimate act of being clean: circumcision.
God told Abraham to do this over 4000 years before doctors recognized and endorsed its benefits. Circumcision not only cleanses the soul, but the body as well. It protected the Jews from diseases that were common to pagans of the day; in both men and women! Both benefited from the removal of the foreskin which allowed the Hebrew to be hygienically clean!
Hygiene has come along way today. Many people are not circumcised because we are privy to the finest soaps, the cleanest water, showers with hot water and the finest ointments. It was a necessity then for preservation, but now it's recognized as beneficial.
Yes, "we've come a long way, baby!" We've went back to where man started. Doctors are just catching up with God's instructions. Isn't God wise?