Sunday, June 05, 2011

Take off your shoes

If God doesn't go with us, we're the same as everyone else. Yet new atheists claim they see no evidence for god being here. And then:
“Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.”
That's Exodus 3:5, Moses at the burning bush, right? Yes, but then the same thing happens to Joshua. There's no burning bush. This is Joshua 5:15 which is where my Bible read through landed me this weekend. There a man who appears to Joshua (a bit like the man who appeared to Abraham just before Sodom was destroyed). This man is then identified as "the commander of the Lord's army", whom Joshua worship and then:
And the commander of the Lord's army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. (5:15)
Has to be Jesus doesn't it. Matthew Henry: "This Man was the Son of God, the eternal Word." The same one who Jude tells us led his people out of Egypt is now ready to lead them into the land. Out of slavery, into the land. The music strikes up again, God is with them. Ask an Israelite who is your god - "the one who brought us up out of Egypt" - now "the one who brought us into the land". Later Jesus...
"And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his EXODUS, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem"
I'd love to know why translators use the word depature and only footnote that the greek word is Exodus... surely it'd help us to make the connection rather than obscure it!?? Peter will Exodus too (2 Peter 1:15). Who is god - the one who sent Jesus to the cross and then raised him...  Exodus-theme tunes are all over the story of God. And they're meant to be all over my life too... out of slavery to liberty, and at every step being carried by the Lord Jesus who fights for me... lifting the curse and bringing me into blessing.
"In fact, the primary feature of clean animals is their feet, in one sense or another. To understand this, we must bear in mind that the ground was cursed under the Old Covenant (Genesis 3:17). Men normally wore shoes, and it was ceremonially important to wash the cursed soil off one’s feet before entering a house (Genesis 18:4; 19:2; 43:24; Judges 19:21; Luke 7:44; John 13: 3-15). Holy ground, where the curse was removed, required men to go barefoot (Exodus 3:5; Joshua 5:15)." (Jim Jordan)
The Exodus story is a story I need to make sense of life. It's a story that tells me my god is one who will turn up, who will fight for me. And if he doesn't then I'm stuck between the enemy and the sea, between the wilderness and the promised land. Shoes off... like when Jesus washed his disciples feet?

Some great resources on Exodus. David Capener's preaching series on Exodus is well worth a listen: I AM THE EXODUS; EAT MEI love David's narrative style and the connections he's making all over the place. He put me on to Tim Keller on Exodus 14 at the Gospel Coalition conference.


  1. I AM the Exodus eat me must be the greatest sermon series title ever. Bowls Opened excepted i suppose!

  2. Certainly caught my eye, and it's a great way to centre on Jesus. Bowels is just fun... as and when I finally get to preach a series on the Song I imagine I'd not use Sibbes' title, but worth doing something striking.