Set Apart

Posted by Karah

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Ponder this quote from Charles Spurgeon as you begin your time with God:

“God has set apart His people from before the foundation of the world to be His chosen and peculiar inheritance.”

The Masters is a major golf tournament played annually in Augusta, Ga. Winners receive a unique prize—a green jacket—that sets them apart as members of an elite group. Only the 300 or so members of the August National Golf Club and Masters winners are allowed to wear the jacket.

Think about that idea of being set apart as you read Genesis 17:9-27 in your Bible.

“Throughout your generations, every male among you at eight days old is to be circumcised. This includes a slave born in your house and one purchased with money from any foreigner. The one who is not your offspring, a slave born in your house, as well as one purchased with money, must be circumcised. My covenant will be marked in your flesh as an everlasting covenant.” —Genesis 17:12-13

By commanding Abraham and his descendants to be circumcised, God was creating an outward sign that would set His covenant people apart from the pagan world.

Circumcision wasn’t a new practice God created for this occasion; other ancient cultures practiced it, usually to signify ownership or loyalty to an authority. So, when God instructed Abraham and his descendants to do this, what was He really asking of them? Explain.

God gave circumcision a new meaning by making it the symbol of His covenant with a specific, set apart group of people. Do you think God is still calling people to be set apart for Him? Why or why not?

The Point

God’s people are distinctly set apart. He is still setting people apart today.

Respond

If you have a relationship with Christ, you have been called to a set-apart life. Record a short statement of commitment and loyalty below.

What does being set apart look like for Christians today? For further study, check out 1 Peter 2:9-10 and Romans 12:2.

Behind the Story

In Scripture, the concept of circumcision is sometimes used metaphorically. In Deuteronomy 10:16 and Jeremiah 4:4, circumcision of the heart refers to total devotion to God. The uncircumcised were regarded as those who are insensitive to God’s leadership. Circumcision, then, was an external sign of singular devotion to God.


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