In Exodus 3, Moses encounters God in the burning bush. God said to him, “Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground” (Ex. 3:5, NKJV). From this verse, three things are brought out concerning “holy ground.”
First, one cannot approach God any way one wants. Nadab and Abihu stand as examples for those who dare to come before God in a haphazard way (Lev. 10:1ff). Their charred bodies are a testament to the folly of man and the holiness of God. One can only approach God in the manner that He says.
Second, on holy ground one sees the nature of God. The ground was not holy because it was made of a special kind of soil. The ground was holy because God was there. Too often we fail to see God for who He really is. The prophet Isaiah said concerning the nature of God, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Is. 55:9). Moses said that “God is not a man” (Num. 23:19). Thus one should never approach Him as if He were. God is GOD.
Third, on holy ground one sees one’s own nature. We are not holy in and of ourselves. We are the created coming before the Creator. Again, Isaiah stated concerning the nature of man, “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags…” (Is. 64:6). The apostle Paul stated, “As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one…’” (Rom. 3:10). Thus when we are on holy ground we must remember who we are, who God is, and how to approach Him acceptably.
Though we are far removed from Moses and the burning bush, we are not far removed from God’s holiness. Briefly, let us consider three “holy grounds” the Christian encounters virtually every day. First, the Bible is holy ground. When we read and study God’s word, we must remember that these words are given to us by God Himself. The apostle Paul said, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Tim. 3:16). The very words we read in the Bible are “God-breathed.” The Bible is not a book of suggestions. We cannot add to it nor take from it. How we see and respond to the words we read is exactly how we see and respond to God Himself. The two thoughts are tied together in John 14:15 when Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
Second, prayer is holy ground. Moses spoke with God with his face bowed to the ground. We also come to God with our hearts bowed down. Prayer to the Christian is more than closing our eyes and saying a few words. We must realize that as we are praying we are coming into the very throne room of God. The Hebrew writer said, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).
Finally, worship is holy ground. When we gather with the saints, we are coming to worship God. Many Christians worship unacceptably every Sunday, not knowing they are on holy ground. Many give stingily, sing half-heartedly, partake of the Lord’s Supper speedily, and complain that God’s message from the pulpit is too long, not knowing that all this time God is looking directly at them and knows every thought of their heart. When we come before Him, we must remember htat we are there to worship Him.
My friends, we must remember that we too are standing on holy ground.
Roy preaches for the St. George congregation in St. George, SC.