Holy Ground

Day 78

Prayer for the day

Our help is in the Name of the Lord; the maker of heaven and earth.

Scripture for the day

Joshua 4-6, Luke 1:1-20

The presence of the LORD is a fascinating, lovely, and dangerous thing. In the First Testament account for today, Joshua runs into the same God Moses had encountered, and experiences the identical command: take off your sandals, for this is holy ground.

Holy ground.

The idea of holy ground conjures up images of pilgrimages, of monasteries, of labyrinths and sacred circles and other natural and unnatural formations. Joshua, however, is in the vicinity of none of these. He has crossed the filthy and flooding Jordan river on dry ground and is facing his first daunting task as leader: the overthrow of the city of Jericho.

I’ve been to the site of Jericho. You may feel a lot of things there, but holiness is rarely one of them.

What Joshua experienced was not the inherent holiness of a place, but the inherent holiness of a God who allows that holiness to pervade a place.

Zechariah had a similar encounter with the holiness of God, and it got him into a lot of trouble. His encounter with the holiness of God made him mute until the day his son, John, was born.

The presence of God is fantastic, but it’s rarely safe. The presence of God burns away that which is not allowed before it, and bares the soul before God. Zechariah had his doubt exposed for what it was and encountered the consequence. Joshua had his soul bared before the LORD as well. His soul showed courage, and deference. He bowed before the angel and sought comfort and a message from God.

The plain fact is that the presence of God comes to all of us. Our response will depend upon the state of our soul. In the presence of YHWH, the soul is laid bare, and our inner thoughts and desires are exposed. What will our response be?

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