Summary: Some of God’s greatest works involve feet. Take a look at what the Lord can do with these humble body members.
When Bare Feet Hit Holy Ground
1 Cor. 12:15-21
The final line in the Beverly Hillbillies theme song says: “Take your shoes off, y’all come back now, ya’ hear?”
Does anyone here like to go barefooted? Raise your hand.
My wife has been a barefoot lover for as long as I’ve known her. It has happened so often I can visualize it clearly. The pattern goes like this: she comes in the house and kicks off her shoes and you almost always hear a sigh of relief. I, on the other hand am a shoe person. When I was growing up I wore shoes all the time. I felt like the cowboy who said, “Bury me with my boots on.” It’s only lately that I’ve come to appreciate the blessing of bare feet.
Today I want us to consider our feet. You will probably all remember this sermon for a long time. Many of you will appreciate it; hopefully most of you will. But I suspect that some of you will have to forgive me for it.
One of my favorite stories about feet in the Bible comes from the book of Exodus 3 where Moses meets God for the first time. Turn with me there and lets read this together.
3:1 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.
2 And 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.
3 So Moses said, "I must turn aside now, and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up."
4 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."
5 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."
After Moses bare feet hit the holy ground, his life would never be the same again.
This was how God called Moses into ministry. God had been working on Moses for a long time before this, 80 years, in fact. But Moses seems, to some degree, to be unaware of God’s preparing him for the work he is calling him to. After this barefooted moment Moses becomes the greatest leader in the Old Testament. Until Jesus came, no one arose in Israel to match Moses. God used Moses to bring Israel to himself. Moses led the children of Israel out of Egyptian slavery, and through the 40 years of wilderness wanderings to the boarder of the promised land of Canaan. Moses received from God all the laws that would govern them until Jesus came. Through Moses God made his covenant with Israel. And Moses ministry all began as he stood bare footed before the Lord on holy ground.
Now I’m going to invite you to do something right now that will make this lesson stay with you. Everyone who is willing and able, take your shoes off. I’m not trying to be funny or cute here. Neither was God when he said this to Moses. Take off your shoes and in a moment I’m going to ask you to stand and sing number 100 and 101.
As you do this think about where Moses was when this happened. He is in the very wilderness where he will lead the children of Israel. He is at the mountain of God where he will return with Israel to receive the 10 commandments, God’s covenant in stone for his people. At the point of our reading, he is standing before the presence of God as he stands before a burning bush. But also think about this. This place is a place of stones and scorpions and poison snakes. It’s not a nice place to go barefooted. Moses was probably not very comfortable at this moment.
What God is doing here with Moses, he desires to do with all of us. God wants us to be faithful followers of his will and his ways. Would you stand with me now and join me in singing 100 and 101?
We need to walk in the awareness of God’s holy presence always. When Moses took off his shoes, he was taking off something he made and standing on something God made. Sometimes we can create a comfortable environment where we separate ourselves from the things of God and are shielded from the sharp points of pain and suffering around us. When Moses had his shoes on he could walk around almost carelessly in the desert. But when your shoes are off, you have to watch where you walk. God wants us to walk carefully in his presence. Watch our steps. Barefooted saints walk more carefully than those with shoes on.