Today I would like to address some ways, wherein we can:
- Show Respect for our selves and our family members in our homes
- Show Respect for our community and neighbors in their homes
- Show Respect toward our Heavenly Father, to his church and in His house
2 And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
4 And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
The second story is with Joshua who met an angel of God, who told him to do the same, as written:
13 ¶And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?
15 And the captain of the Lord’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so. (Joshua 5:13-15)
I have wondered, why God required Moses to take off his shoes. Yes, we know that it was "holy ground", but what is the significance of 'taking off his shoes'?
As a good Canadian, I was taught to take off my shoes before we enter a home. On my mission (to Montreal, Canada), some of my American companions did not have the same tradition and seemed somewhat surprised when I removed my shoes when asked to come in.
When we attend family gatherings here in Magrath, you can tell how many have arrived before you by the great collection of shoes at the front door. Why? Although it may have the added benefit of keeping snow and dirt off the new carpet, there is more to it than just that. I believe it is simply one way of showing respect for the home you are about to enter.
When Moses was asked to remove his shoes, there was much more to it than not getting God's holy ground dirty. Moses was to yield his rights to live as he wanted to God. Taking off your shoes is yielding your right to have authority in that place.
Why did the Angel of God, the 'captain of the LORD's army' tell Joshua to take of his shoe? Joshua was to yield his right to lead in the battle. God was to be the captain, not Joshua.
Shoes to Socks
I was the oldest of 5 children, and my brothers looked up to me – at least Greg did .. because I was so much older .. 6 years older and wiser. There was a time when I was quite particular about my clothes, particularly my socks. It was a matter of some contention, when I discovered that one of my brothers were 'borrowing' my clothes, particularly a pair of my socks. I bought them myself, washed and put them carefully away in my own room, and so if I ever noticed that a pair was missing, or worse were on one of my brothers feet .. I charged them a dollar. I know by little brother looked up to me because he actually paid me – quite often. I took to making sure my room was locked, going so far as to installing a latch with a padlock on my bedroom door .. I will come back to this story, but first another story – Baby vs Teenager vs Adult
Do you remember as a child feeling any different than you do now? As a child or as a teenager, didn't you feel you were already grownup and as grownup don't you still feel young? However, even if you don't remember being 'a child', there was a time that we were completely helpless. As a newborn baby we relied on our parents to feed and cloth and protect us. Slowly we learned to walk and talk and then run and play. Meanwhile, somehow we were provided food and clothing and shelter. We go to school, learn to ride a bike and drive a car. Then we get our first job .. money of our own and independence, freedom, all while still living at home not paying rent or buying groceries .. In a sense, we are still in the teenager phase of Godhood. We are completely dependent on God who provides us with this entire world, food and clothing and shelter while we feel independent and free with all of our new found disposable income – all while not really paying our own way yet. We owe everything we have to Him.
Mormon (I presume) in Helaman chapter 12 writes:
2 Yea, and we may see at the very time when he doth prosper his people, yea, in the increase of their fields, their flocks and their herds, and in gold, and in silver, and in all manner of precious things of every kind and art; sparing their lives, and delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; softening the hearts of their enemies that they should not declare wars against them; yea, and in fine, doing all things for the welfare and happiness of his people; yea, then is the time that they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One—yea, and this because of their ease, and their exceedingly great prosperity.
As a teenager, I neglected to take into account a few minor details. 1) My room was not really mine. The rent and taxes and utilities and everything else was being paid by my loving mother. 2) The clothes were not mine. Even if I 'bought' them, the money for that purchase came from my mother and my ability to 'earn' on my own rarely took into account the amount owed to my family for that privilege in terms of free room and board. 3) The laundry facilities I slaved in were provided free of charge to me by my parents as well.
Helaman 12:4 O how foolish, and how vain, and how evil, and devilish, and how quick to do iniquity, and how slow to do good, are the children of men; yea, how quick to hearken unto the words of the evil one, and to set their hearts upon the vain things of the world!
5 Yea, how quick to be lifted up in pride; yea, how quick to boast, and do all manner of that which is iniquity; and how slow are they to remember the Lord their God, and to give ear unto his counsels, yea, how slow to walk in wisdom’s paths!
6 Behold, they do not desire that the Lord their God, who hath created them, should rule and reign over them; notwithstanding his great goodness and his mercy towards them, they do set at naught his counsels, and they will not that he should be their guide.
7 O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even they are bless than the dust of the earth.
8 For behold, the dust of the earth moveth hither and thither, to the dividing asunder, at the command of our great and everlasting God.
Doesn't this description remind you a bit of your own teenage years? As I gracefully age, I realize that I was somewhat lacking in appreciation for everything I had been given just because my parents loved me. In terms of our relationship with God, we are much in same situation. God is the provider of all that we have. He has provided this beautiful home for us to live in, provided us with a mind and body that we can use to 'earn our own way'. The socks? They are his. The shoes? He provided them to us. We should show our appreciation to him in the only way we can .. in Love and Respect.
Jesus is our example for giving up our rights. "And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt" (Mark 14:36).