“Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. So Moses said, ‘I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.’ When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then He said, ‘Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’ He said also, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God” ~ Exodus 3:1-6.
What was it that drew Moses attention and desire to ‘check it out’? It was the Light of God’s presence, burning in ways he realized was something unusual, special, real, producing a light that caught Moses eye and beckoned him over. Like others in scripture, when he realized He was in the very presence of Jehovah-God, he was quickly impressed that his feet were on Holy Ground. And what did God say? “Take off your shoes.”
What was it that caused Adam and Eve to want to cover up their nakedness? I believe it was not their naked bodies that beckoned the cover-up. It was their sin that distorted the image of God they were created to bear. They sinned against God and immediately wanted to hide themselves from Him so He did not see them as they now were. Their covering they made was inadequate, so God made coverings for them that included the shedding of blood to cover their sin.
When Jesus came, He paid the full price of sin and provided His own robe as a new covering for all who believe and receive the gift of His sacrifice for their sin. In so doing, not only does He clothe us with eternal robes, but He cleanses us from the inside out, leaving with us His Holy Presence who indwells us and restores the image of God in us who have new life through rebirth in Christ.
So now, we who are called the temple of God, house His presence and we are called and equipped to be His light shining in the dark places of this world. Now we become the “burning bush” and the ground under us is holy, for He is holy. He wholly dwells within those who believe and receive Him. The question is, are we – His people, His temples, His lights, His burning bush for our day, living as people of Holy Ground? Or are we hiding behind coverings of our own making that try to hide from God the sin our Savior and Lord died to cover?
God told Moses, “Remove your shoes.” We are to be real with God, standing in His presence as His image bearers made whole and holy in Christ. We must be real with Him so that He can fully and completely cover our nakedness and restore the image of God in us. And we must be real with Him so He can set up His presence within us to set afire our lives as His burning bush that is useful for drawing others into His holy presence.
Remove your sandals from your feet, Beloved of God, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.