Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the back of the wilderness, and came to God’s mountain, to Horeb. The angel of Yahweh appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. Moses said, “I will turn aside now, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.”
When Yahweh saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the bush, and said, “Moses! Moses!”
He said, “Here I am.”
He said, “Don’t come close. Take your sandals off of your feet, for the place you are standing on is holy ground.” Moreover he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look at God.
Our world is pretty confused. Things that are popular should actually be ignored or even stopped and things that are ignored should be popular. On this particular day, Moses stumbled onto “holy ground.”
Moses seemed to think that he was in the middle of nowhere, but He was wrong. Right where he was standing, one of the most amazing things on earth was to take place. God was to give His law to mankind. Not only that, any place where God is, is a holy place because God is holy. Jesus was very approachable because He humbled Himself, but that doesn’t mean that He didn’t deserve our respect and worship. Everywhere that Jesus was, was holy just because He was there too.
God told Moses to take off his shoes. To this day, it is customary in eastern countries to take off one’s shoes as a matter of respect when visiting a house. In other cultures there are different manners, but, as we can see, manners are important because they are an outward representation of our respect.
Pay careful attention to the language here. We read that “an Angel of Yahweh appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush,” and that He said, “I am the God of your father…” It is good to know that the word “angel” here is sometimes translated “messenger.” The Bible calls this messenger “God.” I believe, along with many others that this was an appearance of Jesus before He became a man and lived with us. Jesus came to visit Moses and to give him a message.
Moses did what every man does when he realizes that he’s in the presence of God; he hid himself. This has been our reaction since the day we first started sinning against God. This is the problem that Jesus was in the processes of fixing, and Moses had a part in the next phase of His plan.