The nation of Israel had just crossed the Jordan River. And before they undertook this awesome journey, they had consecrated themselves, as Joshua had told them to do.
“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” (Joshua 3:4)
And the Lord did amazing things!
Next, the Israelites had another huge, unimaginable task before them – to bring down the city of Jericho – literally bring it down, with a SHOUT, making Jericho totally vulnerable to Israel’s own army – the army of the Lord. But just before this was to happen, Joshua saw a man in front of him – a man with a drawn sword in his hand. This man told Joshua that he was “commander of the army of the Lord.” Was he the Lord himself? Perhaps he was. We can assume so, as Joshua certainly recognized the authority of this commander. He fell facedown and asked the commander a question:
“What message does my Lord have for his servant?”
“The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy, ‘ And Joshua did so. ‘”(Joshua 5:15)
We see obedience. I, too, must ask the Lord,
What message do you have for me, Lord – for me, your servant?
Do you want to stand on holy ground? I do. I want to obey my commander’s orders. I want to be ready for the huge, unimaginable task before me. In order to do that, I must ask the Lord what His message is for me. And I need to take off my sandals. They’re dirty; they carry the dust and grime of the path I’ve been on. I want to be rid of them. I want my feet to be clean so I can step on to God’s holy ground. I want to be cleansed.
“Search me, O God . . . See if there is any offensive way in me . . .” (Psalm 139:23-24) “Create in me a [clean and] pure heart, O God. . . Restore me” (Psalm 51:10, 12).
It is only then, after taking off my sandals, after cleansing, that I can be ready to follow the seemingly huge, unimaginable task the Lord has set before me.
It is only then, that it could be written,
“Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy. And Kathi did so.”
Do you want to stand on holy ground?
Then take off your sandals.