Yirmiyahu Four: Circumcise Your Heart

Biblical poetry is full of weird metaphors, and today’s chapter has a particularly special one. “Circumcise yourselves to the Lord and remove the foreskins of your heart, O people of Judah and dwellers of Jerusalem, lest My anger go forth and burn with none to quench it because of the evil of your deeds (Jeremiah 4:4).” I know that I read a similar metaphor at some other point, and I believe I reflected on it then too, because it’s such a powerful image. It’s not bind yourselves, or commit yourselves, but literally to irrevocably change oneself in order to create a covenant, not just in someone’s body, but also in their hearts. The circumcision is the physical marker of the Jewish people’s permanent covenant with God. What would it be like if our hearts, our souls, had a constant reminder of this commitment too? How would that change our behaviors, our actions, our awareness of God on a daily basis?

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