Take Off Your Sandals

Here’s the deal.  Moses was out in the middle of nowhere on the other side of the wilderness tending sheep.  Let me assure you where he was would have had no location dot on the Google Map.  Waze would have had a question mark.  Location is unknown.  And, tending sheep was the very lowest of jobs…not something that you want to highlight on LinkedIn. Man, had Moses totally fallen from prominence and prestige!  Yet, in this hard scrabble physical environment to a going nowhere man, a fugitive who had run from Egyptian law officials for murder forty years ago, God showed up.  There was no pre-arranged meeting between Moses and an angel who prewarned Moses that God planned to see him so take a bath and clean up a bit.  Here was a shaggy, smelly man in the middle of the wilderness totally minding his own business completely out of touch with the world.  Of all the places that God would have gone to find a man to lead His people out of abuse and tyranny, SURELY, IT WOULD NOT BE HERE AND FOR SURE WOULD NOT BE MOSES.  God, what are you thinking?!  Yet, right there…yes, right there, almighty God, the Creator of the universe met with Moses. 

Exodus 3 documents this encounter, There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.”“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.”  God called out to Moses by name from within the burning bush.  And, He called out twice for Moses sharply! Moses seemingly answered the Lord a bit lackluster. “Here I am.” Then,God in a commanding voice said, “Do not come any closer, take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Did he ever get the attention of Moses who “hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God!”

  • Proverbs 9:10 states straightforwardly, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
  • Ephesians 5:21 commands for us in our relationships to “Submit to one another in the fear (or reverence) of God.”  If we genuinely “feared” God and recognized that we are called to serve one another out of respect for Him, our relationships would be transformed living out His loving kindness rather than our selfish agenda.  If you read Ephesians 5 onward from verse 21 to the end of the chapter, Paul applies this “fear of God” by the way we treat our spouse…serving them in a manner “as Christ loved” us. 

I am concerned that there is so little “fear”/reverence towards our Almighty God.  We too often casually enter His presence with self-centered requests and are miffed why our Santa Claus Jesus does not give us what we want.  I believe this is what God wants for me to say to all of us, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground for I am God!”

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