“Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5
I just watched the first episode of “The Bible” mini-series today. How perfect God’s timing is, yet again, to see Moses’ life-story and then be reminded of it in today’s devotion from Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle –
“Can you imagine a more monotonous existence? And Moses did it for forty years. He must have felt that God had put him out to pasture. He once dreamed of delivering the people of Israel out of captivity, but that dream died when he killed an Egyptian taskmaster and fled the country as a fugitive. Moses spent the next forty years in spiritual exile on the backside of the desert.
“Then God appeared to him in a burning bush.
“I have a feeling that Moses got up that morning, put on his sandals, and picked up his staff, figuring it would be an ordinary day just like the day before, and the day before the day before, and the day before that. But you never know when or where or how God will invade the routine of your life.
“Jewish scholars used to debate why God appeared to Moses in a burning bush. A thunderclap or lightening bolt would have been more impressive. And why the far side of the desert? Why not the palace or a pyramid in Egypt?
“They concluded that God appeared to Moses in a burning bush for one simple reason: to show that no place is devoid of God’s presence, not even a bush on the backside of the desert. So they gave God a name I’ve learned to love: The Place. God is here, there and everywhere. So it doesn’t matter where you are; God can meet you anywhere.
“There are two moments in Scripture when God gives the same curious command: take off your sandals. The first one happens on the backside of the desert with Moses before God delivers Israel out of Egypt. The second one happens just before God delivers Jericho to Joshua. As Moses’ assistant, Joshua had heard the story of the burning bush a thousand times. But no one can live off someone else’s experience, someone else’s story. We need our own epiphany, our own testimony.
“So why did God ask them to take off their sandals?
“I think it was an act of humility, an act of worship. It was a way of acknowledging absolute dependence on God. It was a way of removing any obstacle that could get in the way of God and Moses, God and Joshua.
“One last observation, because sometimes the obvious eludes us. The holy ground wasn’t the Promised Land. It was right where Moses was standing. Don’t wait to worship God until you get to the Promised Land; you’ve got to worship along the way.
“This is holy ground. This is a holy moment.
“Right here. Right now.
“Take off your sandals.”
The purpose of prayer is not to give orders to God; the purpose is to get orders from God. -Mark Batterson
Are your sandals off?