Have you ever visited a home and been asked to remove your shoes? Do you allow visitors to wear shoes in your home? In the eastern culture, removing your footwear when entering a person's home is still observed. But why?
In the scriptures, Moses and Joshua both are told to remove their shoes/sandles because they are standing upon holy ground. As I have been studying the journey of God's chosen people and that of a land promised to them, this act of removing shoes called for investigation. I hope that as I share my thoughts and investigation that it might move you to do the same.
So what makes something holy? In the King James Version of the Bible, the word holy appears in the Old Testament 211 times. The Hebrew word for holy is "qodesh" and means apartness, set apartness, separateness, and sacredness. So we know that Moses took off his shoes because he was on holy ground but also in God's presence as he hid his face. But if Joshua was in the company of the captain of the Lord's host and was asked to take off his shoes, there must be significance on the land that had been set apart. So the common theme in these two passages is they both stood upon ground which was holy or set-apart. But why the shoes?
It is believed that as an act of humility or respect that request was made. The same goes for the act of standing up when shaking a hand or taking off your hat when greeting a lady. Very old school concepts, but if God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, does he request the same respect and reverance from us? When David was established as King in Jerusalem, he was determined to bring up the Ark of the Covenant. While in transit, the oxen stumbled and rocked the cart carrying the Ark. And what might have been a reaction Uzzah stuck out his hand to steady the ark and was struck dead. David was angered but still determined, studied on how to transfer the Ark and did as Moses had before him, pleasing unto the Lord's word and had to get Levite priest to transport it. But is there anything sacred anymore? What IS holy or set-apart from the world in these times? And with this new Christain Community movement of come as you are, should that hold us back from honoring him so?
I am not saying that you should remove your shoes next time you enter a chapel or meeting place, but I would not be opposed. Let me ask this question. When our dead are laid to rest, why do we dress them up? History shows that the dead in the past were buried with the things necessary for the next life or after life. So are we we suiting up our relatives to go to a party? Or perhaps to meet their creator? With that being said should we dress up to meet our creator while we worship him?
After all these questions and searching, I came to a final conclusion for myself. There was a signaficance and closeness involved in having bare skin aside holy ground. I have this picture in my mind of feet being rooted in holy ground and being planted on the rock. Sure you can take your shoes off in your new home to save your carpet and floor life, or you could take a moment and pray over the ground you live on. Invite a church leader, maybe some family, and pray a blessing over the home and set it apart. Give your home a spirit of learning, loving, teaching and praise. But most importantly we should set ourselves apart from this world in all we do. As Christians, and having the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of ourselves, we should stay mindful of reverance and respect due to ourselves and our bodies.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
I thank you all for taking the time to read this. I would love to hear your thoughts. And I hope that we can all make the changes we need to become stronger and united in this walk. You are a gift and you are worthy. And most importantly not only can you do it, we can do it together.
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