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A Healing at Gilgal

Joshua 5:8

After the entire nation had been circumcised, they stayed where they were in the camp until they recovered.

Upon crossing the Jordan River to take conquest of the Promised Land, God ordered Joshua to circumcise the young men who were born in the wilderness. Most of the generation of men who left Egypt and had been circumcised died in the wilderness and were forbidden to enter the Promised Land because of disobedience. To take hold of God’s promises, those born in the wilderness had to bear the mark of God’s chosen people – circumcision of the males.

Circumcision represents a cutting away of the flesh from our most private and personal areas. When the procedure is done on infants, the pain is minimized and never remembered. When performed on an adult, however, the pain is quite real and intense, and one must heal in order to move forward. God required the hurt but allowed time for healing because His intent was for them to possess the land He promised them.

Once the young men healed, God called the place, “Gilgal,” because He rolled away the reproach or disgrace of Egypt, which represents slavery. The mark of circumcision identified them as His chosen people, no longer slaves. Gilgal means “to roll away,” and archeologists believe it is not the name of an actual city but a type of place. Archeological finds have revealed several instances of stones set in foot or sandal shape believed to be called Gilgal. 

The meaning of the foot shape seems somewhat significant. In ancient times, setting one’s foot on the land and walking around the borders of a particular area of land were ways of asserting ownership or control of that land. Feet were symbols of the defeat of enemies. God called the place Gilgal after they had healed from the cutting away of flesh that symbolized slavery, and He gave them a symbol which signified enemy defeat. 

Where have you been deeply, personally, and privately hurt? Don’t lose heart! Once you heal from this, God will roll away your reproach and give you a foot shaped promise to take the land! He is with you in this, and His intent is to see you victorious! Hallelujah!

Have a blessed day!

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