Briefly explain the background of our textÖ
This morning we want to bring a message on the subject of Holy Ground. We have three thoughts that we want to bring from our text in Verse 5.
1. First, the Lord told Moses to ďDraw not nigh hitherÖĒ
Literally this means to keep your distance. In other words:
Show respect, and honor, and reverence for God, and for all the things of God. Including the meeting house, pastor, deacons, teachers, etc.
Donít be presumptuous when we come into Godís presence. That is, donít be too friendly and familiar with God and the holy things of His sanctuary.
Be careful how we approach unto God in His house. He is not a man as we are, but He is high and Holy. He is God Almighty, and our sovereign Creator. He is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords over all the universe. He is the sovereign Savior of His people, as in our text God was preparing to deliver the nation of Israel out of bondage. Never forget Who God is when you enter into His presence.
Where is this special presence of God today? First, the presence of God is in His church. Secondly, anywhere sanctioned by the church (youth meetings, picnics, special meetings, etc.). Thirdly, the throne of grace in prayer.
2. Secondly, the Lord told Moses to ďput off thy shoes from off thy feetÖĒ
This act of taking off oneís shoes in the presence of God was a token of four things:
1. Of his reverence for the Divine Majesty.
2. Of his humiliation for his sins, and his unworthiness to appear before God. This was a posture of humiliation in old times.
3. Of his need for purification from the filth of his feet, or that is his conversation from walking in this sinful life, that he might be a fit vessel to approach unto God.
4. Of his submission and readiness to obey Godís will. For this same reason slaves in old times used to go bare-footed.
So then, take off your shoes when you come into His presence! Show reverence for the Divine Majesty. Come humbly, realizing that you are a sinner and unworthy to enter His presence. Enter His presence with clean feet and with a clean life, as a fit vessel unto the Lord. And enter His presence ready to obey His commands and His will for your life as a servant of the Lord.
3. Thirdly, God said to Moses ďFor the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.Ē
We want to make the following observations about this clause:
1. First, there are special places in this world that God Almighty has called holy.
With Jacob it was a pillow of stones (Genesis 28:16-17). With Moses in our text it was Mt. Horeb and the burning bush. With Joshua it was by Jericho where he met the captain of the Lordís Host (Joshua 5:13-15). The Captain of the Lordís host told Joshua to take off his shoes, because the place whereon he stood was Holy Ground.
For Israel as a nation it was the tabernacle, and later the temple. Solomon, who built the first temple, said:
ďKeep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.Ē Ecclesiastes 5:1†
In the Old Testament the priests served in the tabernacle and in the temple in their bare feet, showing their respect and reverence for the Holy place of God.
Today beloved, Godís holy place is the Lordís New Testament Baptist Church:
1 Timothy 3:15† But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
2. Secondly, these holy places are where Godís people stand before God.
Donít despise the Holy places of God, these are privileged places where we stand as Godís chosen people. Comparatively few people among the entire human race are so privileged to stand where we stand!
We stand upon the solid Rock of Jesus Christ and His blessed Gospel for salvation. We stand upon salvation by grace through faith in Jesus, and His work of redemption on the cross. May we not despise Jesus Christ, the holy place of our salvation.
We stand upon the pillar and ground of the Lordís Church for service in this present world. We stand upon the Rock of Jesus Christ in His Church. Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 that ďÖupon this rock I will build my churchÖĒ, speaking of Himself as the Rock. Therefore, may we not despise the Lordís New Testament Church, the holy place of Christian service.
May we never forget where we stand before God. May we not forget where we stand for salvation, and where we stand for service as members of Calvary Baptist Church.
3. Thirdly and finally this morning, the place whereon we stand is Holy Ground.
Donít forget, the place was called Holy by the Lord God of Heaven. May we not call Godís Holy place common or unclean. May we not desecrate the Holy Ground of the Lordís Church, and pollute it with sin, or the carnal doctrines of men, or with foolish carnal behavior.
May we not trample upon and abuse Godís Holy sanctuary. I know that this place is only a building, but it has been dedicated and consecrated unto the service of God Almighty and His Son Jesus Christ. There is danger for all who desecrate, and pollute, and disregard, and abuse, and misuse, and mistreat the House of God. Be careful how we esteem and how we treat the House of God, which He has called Holy.
1Co 3:17† If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
We are on Holy Ground this morning.
Donít be too familiar with Godís Holy place. Show proper honor, respect, and reverence for God and His meeting house. Show proper honor and respect for His ministers, and all the holy things that pertain to His worship and service in His Church.
Be careful how we approach unto God in His House. May we not forget just Who God is when we come into His presence! May we fear and tremble in His presence.
Take the shoes off our hearts when we stand on Godís holy ground.
Show proper reverence when we come into Godís presence. Realize that we are sinners, unworthy to approach unto God in ourselves. Cleanse our feet and our lives of sins before approaching God in His holy place. And be ready to obey Godís every command found in His Holy Word.
Finally, are you standing on the Holy Ground of Jesus Christ for salvation? Explain the GospelÖ
If you profess salvation in Christ, are you standing on the holy ground of the Lordís New Testament Baptist Church? Have you submitted to Scriptural baptism and membership in one of the Lordís true churches? If not, we invite you to do so now as the Lord leads.