IS IT JUST A BUILDING, ‘ALL THE TIME?’
What gets your attention? (Matt 8:23-27)
Moses takes the initiative (Acts 2:37)
Now God calls Moses (1 Peter 2:9)
Does it get any closer? (Luke 17:21)
Reverence, submission (John 5:22)
I will be honoured (Malachi 1:3)
I am who I am (Gal 3:26-29)
Are we there yet? (Hebrews 3:3-6)
HONOUR REVERENCE AWE
I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except by Me. John 14:6
However, think of it this way. That strange sight was only the ‘bait’ to draw Moses to the flame. There’s another point which burns much brighter and should ‘consume’ some of our attention, and it’s not even the fact that God calls to him from within the bush. Yes, that too is an amazing.
The church of Christ Has no earthly headquarters John 18:36
Our citizenship Is in heaven Philippians 3:20
We set our path To the compass of scripture 1 Timothy 3:16, 17
The bible is God's Word and final authority John 12:48
The church of the living God Is the pillar and support of the truth 1 Timothy 3:15
We are the churchChrist built Jesus said, " I will build My church " Matthew 16:18; ROMANS 16:16
Christ built One church Ephesians 4:4-6; Colossians 1:18
He will return For His church Corinthians 15:24; Matt 16:18, 19
Yet, I am referring to this statement. “… for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”
If God says the ground where Moses is standing is holy, I won’t argue with that. Nor will it be the starting point for what I say next. God said it was holy so, so be it; case closed. But, why was it holy? Was it not ‘holy’ the day before or after? How do you tell if and when ground is holy? What’s the ‘soil test’?
I WILL BE TREATED AS HOLY
A son honors his father, And a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honor? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence?
Well, the wholly obvious point is that in itself, ‘soil’ isn’t holy, any more than ‘holy water’ is holy. Any argument to the contrary is full of holes, the black hole of holes. So holey in fact, there isn’t enough ground in the universe to fill it.
Praise the Lord, O my soul.
O Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty. He wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind. He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants. Psalms 104:1-4
The angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush (Psalm 104:4)
I will go over and see this strange sight
God called to him from within the bush
Do not come any closer
Take off your sandals
For the place where you are standing is holy ground
I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob
At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God
WAS IT JUST GROUND,‘ALL THE TIME?’
We have all been taught, taught or read this remarkable story many times. The highlight for us was pretty much the same thing that fascinated Moses. A burning bush but the bush does not ‘burn up’. Thinking it was a strange sight, Moses decides to go check it out, that is, why the bush does not burn up, as in ‘become consumed’.
Some key points:
Take off your sandals for the place where you are standing is holy ground
God’s presence made the ground holy
The respect, reverence, submission and humility which God expects and demands of us all
The day before Moses arrived in that area, was the ground he ended up standing upon holy? The day after, was it holy? The hour before? The hour after?
The obvious answer is that at any time, in any place, by and in of itself, the ground was/is no more 'holy' than 'holy water' is 'holy'.
The ground was holy because of the presence of the Lord God. No Lord God then no holy ground. It's as simple as that.
A place of assembly, building or otherwise. Is it holy in and of itself? We meet in a building at 10 am Sunday mornings at which time we call upon the name of the Lord. Is it then just a building?
"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.
For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."
Enter 'the presence of the Lord' in our midst.
Now, is our building just a building? Like the ground Moses stood on, it would be just ground before the presence of the Lord and would be just ground after the presence of the Lord.
However, with 'the presence of the Lord' it is no longer just another building- i.e. like the one next door. How can it be, with the presence of God in our midst? '...for the place you are standing is holy ground'.
Does it matter that we have carpet instead of ground or is it God's presence that makes for the difference?
Does all this mean that Moses should have focussed all his attention on the 'holy ground'? No as obviously the focus should be on the one who can make it 'holy'. Yet, the one who made it holy also told Moses to take off his sandals for the ground upon which he was standing was holy ground- so it is not to be ignored either regarding respect and reverence 'in the presence of'.
Does all this mean our attention should shift toward a building?
Obviously not yet when God is in our presence in a building or wherever, the respect and reverence due is not to be ignored either. It should be recognized, shown openly and faithfully demonstrated. If anything, like Moses, we should be in awe/fear enough to 'hide our faces', not enabling 'casualness, nonchalance and even chaos' in His face or presence 'thereabout or thereafter'.
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.
There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight — why the bush does not burn up."
When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!"
And Moses said, "Here I am."
"Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground."
Then he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob."
At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. Exodus 3:1-6
BY THOSE WHO COME NEAR ME
I WILL BE HONOURED LEV 10:1-3
THE GOOD NEWS
What made the ground on which Moses was standing holy? Well, the ‘presence’ of God of course. Moses was even told to take off his sandals, not as an afterthought but even before God told Moses he was standing on holy ground.
What then is the significance of Moses removing his sandals?
I for one think too many try to turn the simplicity of what’s involved here into a much too complicated self-serving ‘theology’. Religious leaders, aspiring and established, have a tendency to do that. It’s as if they want to re-invent the wheel when it comes to some part of God’s message and make it ‘theirs’; put their own stamp or brand on it so to speak.
Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself.
For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.
Moses was faithful as a servant in all God's house, testifying to what would be said in the future. But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house.
And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast. Hebrews 3:3-6
WAS IT HOLY GROUND, ‘ALL THE TIME?’
The Churches of Christ Salute You
Go And Make Disciples Of All Nations
the Church of Christ in Cornwall
AND BEFORE ALL THE PEOPLE
The simplicity of what transpired leans toward respect, reverence, submission and humility which God expects and frankly demands of us all. Remember this and the fact it was the presence of God which made the place or ground upon which Moses was standing ‘holy’.
To repeat the question: the place where Moses was standing; with God’s presence, was it ‘just ground’? Not according to God. Again, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” It’s not a question; it is neither a theoretical proposition nor a suggestive offering. It is given as a statement of fact. Whose word are you going to take on that, yours or His? Somebody else’s or His? Your will or His? Once we get over ourselves, the more likely we’ll get over to Him.
the churches of Christ Salute You Romans 16:16
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.