Take your sandals off your feet …

And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Exodus 3:5

To draw near to the Lord we do not need to take off our attire, nor change it for another, unless the things we wear have a spiritual value that keeping them means resistance to God’s voice.

To come closer to God we need to change our attitude toward Him, and toward His Will. Already the psalmist David stipulated it when he pointed out that God demands a heart willing to submit to his Will.

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Psalm 34:18


The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Psalm 51:17

The life of faith does not consist of the garment we wear, nor does it depend on the rituals of garments so that He can be revealed. The apostle Paul had already established it when guided by the Holy Spirit he declared that the Kingdom of Heaven does not depend on food or drink,

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Romans 14:17

God looks at man’s heart, his willingness to serve, to listen to His Voice,

But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. I Samuel 16:7

If this is so, why was Moses required to remove his shoes from his feet? And not only to him, Joshua was also demanded to do the same.

And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so. Joshua 5:15

Considering this situation, is it possible that God demands something similar from us?

There are material elements that are endowed with a value that transcends the material, and not by themselves, but because we give them to them. When we say that value transcends the material, we are referring to spiritual values. To understand this, let us review several cases.

Footwear is presented as a symbol of government,

Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be. Deuteronomy 33:25

In some cases, despotism and contempt,

Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people? I Samuel 2:29

Under this representation, footwear can adopt spiritual values of pride, arrogance, vanity, haughtiness. To take the footwear off your foot can mean, to take away pride and arrogance; that is, it is a demand to humble oneself before the Lord.

Footwear is also presented as a symbol of success and enrichment,

In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon, 19The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, Isaiah 3:18-19

One more case, and it applies to the situation of Moses.

Footwear is presented as a symbol of doing business and establishing testimony of permanent contracts.

Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel. Ruth 4:7

Footwear adopts the spiritual value of dignity. It is the dignity of the person, his integrity, his word, his truthfulness is pawned in the footwear.

Snatching someone’s shoe was synonymous with dishonoring him, synonymous with embarrassing him,

Then shall his brother’s wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother’s house. 10And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed. Deuteronomy 25:9-10

No one can touch, nor dare to wear another’s footwear; it is an attack against his integrity, against his dignity, and can be understood as a way of revealing oneself against him. Therefore, when John the Baptist said he was not worthy to untie the strap of his shoes,[1] he was saying that the dignity of Jesus was such that not even untie the strap of his shoes was possible.

So, when God required Moses to take off his footwear, He demanded of him, and eventually Joshua as well, that he not approach God with his own dignity, which means, with his own righteousness, even, with his own spiritual capacity to understand God.

Take away your level of spiritual development, your spiritual stripes, your minister titles, and approach Him with the need to be guided and instructed by Him. It is a way of making commitment before Him.

Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face. Psalm 5:8


Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. Psalm 27:11


Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. Psalm 119:35


And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:24

When a person makes a covenant with the Lord, many things change, from the inside to outside. The person cannot be the same. There are also physical evidences that will reveal his willingness to follow the Lord and be taught by Him.

When we come to the Lord, it is necessary to take our shoes off our feet, because we are already in a Holy Place.

Are you willing to take your footwear off your feet?

 

 

Pastor Pedro Montoya

Twitter: @pastormontoya

[1] Luke 3:16

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