“But the Lord said to him, ‘Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground. I have certainly seen the oppression of My people in Egypt, and have heard their groans, and I have come down to deliver them; come now, and I will send you to Egypt.’ ” Acts 7:33-34
Last week we covered the first part of this Old Testament quote, “Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is Holy Ground”, lifted from Exodus 3:5 and proffered by Steven in his defense before the Council.
The principal communicated is that anything deemed tainted and defiled by worldly elements could not be invited into the presence of the LORD, it first had to be removed. The same is true for souls of men. They must first have the “body of sin” crucified (Rom 6:6), that body of flesh circumcised “by the circumcision of Christ having been buried with Him in immersion” (Col. 2:11b, 12a), once done in faith, you’re accepted into His holy presence. This week we will cover verse 34 and the LORD’s eternal purpose foreshadowed in designating Moses as His deliverer. Steven summarizes from the original text in Exodus 3, which reads: “And the LORD said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians’ ” (Ex. 3:7, 8a) and “Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh” (Ex. 3:10a) There’s a key component revealed to us in the LORD’s use of Moses in His overall predetermined plan that we need to recognize. If the LORD wanted to get the job done efficiently and quickly, He could have done it Himself, or sent His angels. Instead, He appears, gets things started by communicating His concern and purpose, then sends His chosen (redeemed man) to convey His plan for deliverance to those groaning (unredeemed man) under the cruel hand of Pharaoh. Egypt serves as a type, a representation of the world held in bondage to the cruel taskmaster. If you go back and read the account of Moses’ return to Egypt to confront Pharaoh, you’ll note the primary reason God was going to set the people free through Moses was so they could “come out” and serve Him (C. f. Ex. 4:23, 7:16, 8:1, 9:1 etc.). Moses, operating as a type of Christ, in particular here as a deliverer, foreshadowed the true eternal deliverer and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Once more “when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His son” (Gal 4:4a) embodied in flesh to personally deliver the people from the spiritual oppression of the god of this world, Satan. As Zacharias, John the Immerser’s dad, inspired by the Holy Spirit said, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David His servant– ” (Luke 1:68-69) “To grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.” (Luke 1:74-75) Notice the similarities here in God’s purpose? It’s the same-to deliver a people who would serve Him. Just like the type Moses, Jesus got the project going, communicated the plan to those He chose, then sent them into spiritual Egypt, to those held in bondage to sin, with the purpose of delivering the people through “the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins.” (Luke 1:77) Each of us were once spiritual residents of Egypt, in slavery to sin. Through Jesus Christ’s “visit” and the accompanying gospel message, we ultimately had the opportunity to be redeemed in Christ by someone who understood their purpose. It involved them preaching the message to us understanding they had been sent as a deliverer. (Rom. 10:14-15) We are now to open our ears and hear the groans of an oppressed people about us, fully comprehending that purpose has now been entrusted to us as well. It was an integral part of the plan of God set forth before the foundation of the world. Again, we are reminded that the focus of the assemblies is “equipping the saints for the work of service.” (Eph 4:12) It’s where we build the body “by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.” (Phil 2:2) Know who you are in Jesus per the Scripture and you’ll appreciate the opportunity to execute your purpose.