#174 (5/17/18)

(Source of material:  Rev. B.R. Hicks)

Please read Exodus 3:1-6.  Moses' attention is drawn to a bush that is on fire but is not being consumed by the flame.  This is curious to him, so he ventures closer.  Notice in verse two the LORD in angelic form was in the midst of the bush.  Also take note that Moses was drawn to the bush, not the angel in the bush, the cause of the flame and light.  In verse three Moses calls the bush a "great sight", why it is not burnt.  The word "midst" in verse two is Labe or worker heart.  So, we can conclude, out of the Labe heart of the LORD a fire burned that caused the "place" (verse five) to be holy ground.  The LORD in the midst of anything makes that "place" holy.  The command in verse five was for Moses to remove his shoes---which he didn't do.  His shoes hindered the fire from the Labe heart of God to reach his feet and move up into his own Labe (worker) heart.  

We find the mystery of shoes and what they represent in the Book of Ruth.  Boaz wanted to redeem Ruth but there was a kinsman nearer to Ruth than himself.  He gathered the elders at the city gate and invited this nearer kinsman to have the opportunity to redeem Ruth or choose not to.  The symbol that explained he could not redeem her was the removal of his shoe.  So, we see that wearing shoes is a symbol of fleshly redemption.  God told Moses to take off his redemption.  The removal of his shoes was to show that he couldn't redeem Israel from Egyptian slavery.  Moses never possessed the fire of God's Labe heart that made that "place" holy ground.  Moses did not possess Canaan's Land because he didn't take his shoes of redemption from off his feet.  Moses was enthralled with the bush, the creation, rather than the angel (the source of fire) in the bush that made the ground holy.  In our personal circumstances and events, it behooves us to keep our eyes OFF the creation and look to possess the fire of the holy ground in that "place".  We can do one of two things in our personal events:  possess the fire from the holy ground by removing our shoes (redemption), or, reject the fire and the movement of the flame into our Labe heart.  Our personal situations are "holy ground".  The LORD wants us to stop redeeming, take off our shoes, and look for the fire (God) in the situation.  

Back to Ruth.  Ruth, the Moabitess widow, walked and possessed Canaan's Land (and the fire) with her shoes off, as it were.  She allowed the flame, with each step, to rise from the ground (her personal circumstance) and make a permanent change in her heart.  She was a complete stranger to the Jewish religion but when she arrived at her destination, with Naomi, EVERYONE knew she was a virtuous woman.  She possessed the land and the fire!  The fire went up into her worker heart and was a witness to all those around her that she possessed virtue.  The fire in her heart spoke in her behalf!  

Samuel's sons were not virtuous men, to the point that Israel rejected them and demanded Samuel give them a king.  Later, in prayer, the LORD told Samuel to go ahead and give them a king; Israel had not rejected Samuel but God.  Israel rejected the fire in that situation and came up with their own redemptive plan (they refused to remove their shoes).  

Joshua, one of the original four that entered into Canaan's Land, let the fire enter his heart as he possessed, with every step, the fire of the holy ground.  He encouraged Israel by causing them to remember what He had already done and that God was well able to help them conquer the promised land.  He had long ago taken off his shoes, stopped rejecting, and found the holiness in every situation.  The LORD would like us to be a Joshua in this regard.