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The Circumcision of the Heart and the Ant

01.06.2019, Daniel Glimm

When the people of Israel left Egypt, they had been slaves of the Egyptians for a long time (see Exodus 12:40-41).

Exodus 12:40-41:
40 Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt was 430 years.
41 At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the Lord’s divisions left Egypt.

Throughout the generations the Israelites in Egypt were oppressed and Pharaoh commanded them what to do.

The Time of Challenge and the Necessity of the Renewing of the Mind

As followers of Jesus Christ, it is important to understand that times of challenge are not meant to oppress us, but to shape us in our eternal being to become the person whom God already sees in His omniscience (see Psalm 139:16 i.c.w. Jeremiah 1:5).

Psalm 139:16:
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Jeremiah 1:5:
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

The time of the oppression of the people of Israel was part of God's promise plan which ended with the phase of deliverance that was even associated with great prosperity for the people of Israel (see Genesis 15:13-14 i.c.w. Exodus 3:21-22).

Genesis 15:13-14:
13 Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there.
14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.
Exodus 3:21-22:
21 “And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed.
22 Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.”

Since the conscience of the Israelites had been marked by the slavery of Egypt, it was necessary for them to renew their minds according to the promise of God. God navigated them by the guidance of Moses and Aaron by taking them out of the slavery of Egypt.

As a result, each individual Israelite had to learn to live in his new identity as a free person. In addition, the people of Israel became God's possession and a royal priesthood that moved forward in an army structure made up of the twelve tribes of Israel (see Exodus 19:5-6a).

Exodus 19:5-6a:
5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6a you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ …
Every single Israelite was challenged to renew his thoughts or conscience in order to position himself as a free person under the guidance of Moses in the very order of God (see Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23 i.c.w. Exodus 13:18b).

Romans 12:2:
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Ephesians 4:23:
… 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; …

Exodus 13:18b (Luther):
… 18b And Israel departed from the land of Egypt in good order.

The Order of God and the Circumcision of the Heart

This divine order required a certain knowledge of every Israelite to be aware of the affiliation of the respective tribe of Israel in order to position themselves accordingly (see Numbers 10:12a.13).

Numbers 10:12a.13 (New Jerusalemer):
12a Then the Israelites departed from the Sinai wilderness, according to the order of departure …
13 So they set out for the first time, as the LORD commanded them by Moses.

The Order of the Twelve Tribes of Israel is as follows:
1. Judah
2. Issachar
3. Zebulun
4. Ruben
5. Simeon
6. Gad
7. Ephraim
8. Manasseh
9. Benjamin
10. Dan
11. Asher
12. Naphtali.
Since this order of the tribes of Israel is the same three times in the Word of God, and Ecclesiastes 4:12 as well as Matthew 18:16.20 speak of the importance of the threefold, we can presume God's revelatory guidance and order (see Numbers 2:4; Numbers 7:10-83; Numbers 10:11-28).

In order to walk in a new conscience as a follower of Jesus Christ, it is essential to allow the Holy Spirit to circumcise the heart (see Deuteronomy 30:6 i.c.w. Romans 2:29).

Deuteronomy 30:6:
6 The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.

Romans 2:29:
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.
In this context, I consider the foreskin of the heart as experiences from which one has inferred reality and established a false mindset (note: conclusions based on negative experiences) that prevents one from going deeper into God's promise.
After the death of Moses, when the people of Israel were given Joshua as a new leader and were already in the land of promise, circumcision took place on God's behalf in Gilgal. This circumcision was a sign of the cutting off of the reproach of Egypt from the Israelites. This process can be equated with turning away from a false mindset (e.g. slavery and failure; see Joshua 5:7-9).
Joshua 5:7-9:
7 So he raised up their sons in their place, and these were the ones Joshua circumcised. They were still uncircumcised because they had not been circumcised on the way.
8 And after the whole nation had been circumcised, they remained where they were in camp until they were healed.
9 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So the place has been called Gilgal to this day.
The circumcision of the heart results that our eyes of the heart emerge and become enlightened. In this way we are able to evaluate spiritually the particular circumstance, persons and environment in which we find ourselves and not according to our own experience, associations or perception (see Ephesians 1:18).
Ephesians 1:18:
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, …
But if we are not ready to renew our conscience, our works will not produce the fruit that God wants to bring forth through us at this time (see Hebrews 9:14).
Hebrews 9:14:
14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
If we go only by our own heart and don't surrender to the divine process of the circumcision of the heart, the result will not correspond to the will of God, because the human heart is deceitful (see Jeremiah 17:9).
Jeremiah 17:9:
9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
The Ant and the New Beginning
In this context the Lord let me see an ant whose body suddenly turned into the number “8”, which is an indication of a “new time” or a “new beginning”.
Therefore, I don't consider it any coincidence that the ant is closely connected to the process of circumcision, which brings about a new or broadened view in the heart, as mentioned before. The ant is not a loner, but lives in so-called states.
The Hebrew word for “ant” is “nĕmālāh” and its root word refers to circumcision. (note: part excerpt from the Elberfelder Study Bible to the word “ant – nĕmālāh” with the word key number: 5331* and its female root word “nâmal – circumcision” with the word key number 5243 from the Strong's concordance).
In this context the ant is an indication of the self-responsible walking in the order of God in diligence and unity, in order to develop wealth at the right time with a correct understanding of the harvest and to walk in the promise of God (see Proverbs 6:6.8 i.c.w. Proverbs 30:25).
Proverbs 6:6.8:
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! …
… 8 yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.
Proverbs 30:25:
25 Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer; …
Even if we as believers in Christ find ourselves in situations that seem challenging to us, it is wise to submit to the hand of God and trust Him in all things. For it is God who gives at the right time honor and therein overview (see 1 Peter 5:6).
1 Peter 5:6:
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
Amen and Amen.
In His Wisdom,
Daniel Glimm