Ezekiel 44:5-9

Ezekiel 44:5-9

5 The Lord said to me, “Son of man, look carefully, listen closely and give attention to everything I tell you concerning all the regulations and instructions regarding the temple of the Lord. Give attention to the entrance to the temple and all the exits of the sanctuary. 6 Say to rebellious Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Enough of your detestable practices, people of Israel! 7 In addition to all your other detestable practices, you brought foreigners uncircumcised in heart and flesh into my sanctuary, desecrating my temple while you offered me food, fat and blood, and you broke my covenant. 8 Instead of carrying out your duty in regard to my holy things, you put others in charge of my sanctuary. 9 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: No foreigner uncircumcised in heart and flesh is to enter my sanctuary, not even the foreigners who live among the Israelites.

As you read through the above verses pay special attention to the order of the comments on foreigners. They were uncircumcised in heart and flesh in verses seven and nine. The order in both tells me the greater sin was the fact they were not circumcised in heart. This is backed up in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.

15 Yet the Lord set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today. 16 Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. 17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. Deuteronomy 10

Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, circumcise your hearts, you people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
or my wrath will flare up and burn like fire because of the evil you have done—burn with no one to quench it. Jeremiah 4:4

28 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God. Romans 2

The point here is circumcision of the heart is the most important, but what does it mean to have one’s heart circumcised? If one’s heart is circumcised, the one’s heart acknowledges sin and regret or sadness for the sin or felt pain as a result of it. A circumcised heart has no sense of righteousness on its own, feels shame and disgust at its own sin. Additionally, a circumcised heart is no longer hard like stone full of self-righteousness, but has feelings and empathy for others.

Here it is important to quote Galatians 5:6 in full For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. How is one to express their faith through love? I submit it cannot be done without a circumcised heart.

So look at your life, your actions, your thoughts. Does your life, do your actions, do your thoughts reflect a circumcised heart? Or are you still living a self-righteous life in rebellion against God. Tough questions that require honest answers. God seeks to make us righteous through our faith. He justifies us when we have a real faith and trust in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. He knows our hearts, He knows if our faith is real or instead some self-serving fake facsimile.