October 7, 2022
Exodus 3:5 - “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”
This has always been my favorite 'Moses' story - it gives me chills every time I "hear" God's voice talking to him. Can you picture this scene? Moses is a shepherd, minding his own business, out away from everyone and something catches his eye. Fire! Moses gets closer and sees that it is a thorn bush burning, yet the flames are not destroying it. Suddenly, the Lord speaks from the flame, "Moses!" and immediately Moses replies, "Here I am". Then tells him to remove his sandals.
Now I don’t believe that taking off your shoes will make you more holy, or will somehow put you in a better position with God. But removing your shoes can be a symbolic act of leaving the world behind you and stepping into God’s presence. Our shoes, more than anything else, are in physical contact with the ground and filth of the world. So in a way, they represent the uncleanliness of the world. So when we come into God’s presence, we leave our shoes, and their uncleanliness behind.
There are so many layers of symbolism in the Bible. That burning-yet-not-consumed thorn bush is a purposeful representation of Jesus Christ - the wood of the Cross, where Christ experienced the flames of hell for us but lives forevermore, the thorn bush as His Crown, the promise of deliverance, the holy ground - set apart for a specific purpose.
God asks Moses to go back to Egypt where he is #1 on the most wanted list. But this time, God is on his side - instead of saving one Hebrew man in angry reaction, Moses will save all the people by the power of God and not of himself.
Let this be a lesson to us - James 1:20 tells us that anger never accomplishes the will of God. When you encounter a situation that fans the flame of rage, stop and while you are counting to 10, pray. Ask God for the right response - He will ALWAYS answer - follow His voice, not your reactive own.