Shiloh Sunday Service (21st January 2018)
Speaker: Evangelist Eric Burton
Sermon: "Remove Your Sandals From Your Feet"
Covenant of the torch
After God called Abraham to Canaan, He established the covenant of the torch with him. Among God’s various covenants recorded in the Bible, the “covenant of the torch” made with Abraham is the most significant because it is the condensed summary of God’s administration in the history of redemption. And it is through the covenant of the torch, God demonstrated how the “Promised land of Canaan would be given to the godly descendants.
Ratification of the covenant
The year of the ratification of the covenant of the torch took place in 2082 BC when Abraham was 84 years old. Through the covenant of the torch, God proclaimed that He would surely give the land of Canaan to Abraham’s descendants. So clearly, God’s covenant of the torch established with Abraham is a covenant concerning Abraham’s descendants and the land of Canaan where they were to dwell (Gen 15:18). It is also with the covenant of the torch, that God says to Abraham your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land and enslaved for 400 years, and afterwards I will bring you OUT! And this is the great EXODUS (Gen 15:13-14).
Exodus from Egypt
The exodus of Israel took place on the 1st month, the 15th day in (1446 BC). And this was the 636th year since the ratification of the covenant in year 2082 BC and was the fulfillment of the covenant that God had made with Abraham. It was through God’s servant “Moses” that He brought about the Great Exodus from Egypt after 400 years of slavery (Num 33:3).
The Calling of Moses
The first part of God's plan to deliver Israel from Egypt was to prepare and call the leader, Moses and entrust him with the mission called the “Exodus.” In our opening text today, God called Moses at Mount Horeb; and by this time Moses had been trained in the wilderness of Midian for 40 years (Ex 3:1-10; Acts 7:30-34). At Mt. Horeb, Moses sees this burning bush; and although it was burning it was not consumed. So what do we make of this burning bush? First, it represents the Israelites who were driven to Egypt and forced into a miserable life of bondage, slavery, affliction, and fiery suffering for 400 years. Therefore Egypt is compared to an iron furnace (Deut 4:20). Secondly, the fact that the bush was on fire but not consumed reveals that although the Israelites were in the midst of great suffering, they did not perish (Exod 1:12-14). This teaches us that the event of the burning bush was a great sign that the time had come for God to deliver Israel from Egypt, just as He had promised Abraham through the covenant of the torch. In the flame of the burning bush, the angel of the Lord appeared; this especially was God’s clear revelation that He had heard the groaning of His people and would deliver them. With this revelation, the great Exodus would finally unfold. And the man of God, Moses is called to lead this great task (Acts 7:30-32).
Remove your sandals from your feet
In this process of calling him and granting him such a mission, God commanded Moses to remove his sandals. First, God commanded Moses to remove his sandals because the place where Moses was standing was holy ground. The ground was holy because God was present; and the place where God is present is the house of God and the gate of heaven (Gen 28:16-17). Secondly, God’s command for Moses to remove his sandals was a call for Moses to resolve the sins within him. Since sandals are where the dust or dirt is trapped the most, they refer to all of Moses' deeds throughout his lifetime to that point. Hence, removing his sandals implies reflecting on how he has walked (lived) in the world with his feet until then. Thirdly, God’s command for Moses to remove his sandals shows that Moses must become God’s servant. In the Ancient Near Eastern society, only free men could wear shoes and the slaves had to walk barefoot. Therefore, removing sandals mean that Moses would now be fully used as God’s slave and bond-servant (Num 12:7-8). The God that appeared to Moses was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exod 3:6). He is the God who remembered his covenant (Exod 2:24-25). He is the God that lives forever and accomplishes His works (Psa 138:8) and the God who delivers His people (1 Sam 10:18).
Removing sandals is to put on new shoes. Hence, in the New Testament, the command to Moses to remove his sandals means removing the shoes of the old self and being renewed in the spirit of the mind and put on the new self (Eph 4:22-24). When we sit at the feet of Jesus, we must remove our shoes and choose the good side of putting on the new shoes of the Word (Luke 10:39-42). Let us be like Moses and remove all of our shoes of the past, thereby putting on the shoes of “new mission” and blessings.