The praise song "Holy Ground" has become an incredibly well-known and beloved expression of worship over the past several decades in churches across the country. Written by Geron Davis, it has been performed for the memorial service of President Bill Clinton's mother, recorded by Barbara Streisand, and appears in many hymnals. This recording took place during our worship service on Sunday, February 26, 2017, when I just happened to hit record on my phone before Sunny and I shared the offertory.
In her blog, worship leader Judy Jacobs writes about the idea of holy ground as follows:
That song is always a reminder of the Scripture where God meets with Moses at the burning bush–but the bush was not consumed. When that happened, God said to Moses, “Do not come any closer. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”
Taking your sandals off was a sign of reverence and respect in Bible times.
It still held to be so in many cultures. In fact, you are required to take off your shoes at many temples–especially in Jerusalem. Yet, in the entire Bible there are only two times where this is instructed: one in the Old Testament and one in the New Testament.
In the Old Testament, that one time someone was instructed to take off their shoes was when Moses was at the burning bush. In the New Testament, it was when Stephen recounted the life of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, to the Sanhedrin Court. In essence, a person was instructed to take off their shoes when they were at a place where the presence of God was.
Here is the takeaway for you:
Anytime we enter into the sanctuary–or anywhere that is set-apart with the presence of God, whether it is the place of your abode, business, your car or anywhere He happens to show up–it is to be considered holy, awesome, and held in deep reverence. Wherever the presence of God is, IT IS HOLY!
For your prayer and meditation, here are the lyrics you will hear sung:
In His presence
There is joy beyond measure
And at His feet
Peace of mind can still be found
And if you have a need
I know He has every answer
But you've got to reach out and claim it
For you are standing on holy ground
We are standing on holy ground
And I know that there are angels all around
Let us praise Jesus now
We are standing in His presence
On holy ground