“Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”” – Exodus 3:5
Scripture reading: Exodus 3:1-10
Moses sees an unusual sight, a burning bush that is not consumed. He comes closer, only to hear the Word of God coming forth from the bush urgently telling him to take off his shoes because he was on holy ground.
In those days, as is often the case today, people did not wear their shoes indoors. It was a matter of respect, of cleanliness, because your shoes were carrying in dirt from the outside. However, Moses is not inside, but outside. Yet, Moses is asked to take off his shoes for where Moses stands has now become a sanctuary; God is present. Shoes are removed out of respect for the person whose house you entered—even more so for the sake of God, Whose sanctuary Moses was entering.
Without a respect for the person and Word of the Lord, we will not be ready and willing to serve Him. Such respect is missing from much of our world today. People’s actions today of impurity, discontent and destruction betray their irreverence for God. God demands and deserves our reverence. Whenever He meets with His people to supply His gospel Word, that is a holy place. Wherever people are, that is a place where they ought to live as if they are in the holy presence of God, for they are. When we know Christ as Saviour and Lord, such reverence makes us respect every moment as a holy endeavour before God, which is what makes life worth living.
Suggestions for prayer
Ask the Lord to help you appreciate the holy act of worship all the more and to be more sensitive to the Christian ideal that we live Coram Deo—in the presence of God.
Rev. John Vermeer is the pastor of Doon United Reformed Church in Doon, Iowa.