Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. (Exodus 3:5–6, ESV)
“Do not come near.” God is holy. “Take off your sandals.” God is holy. “The place on which you are standing is holy ground.” Moses must have been terrified. He experienced the presence of God. He glimpsed the fullness of who God is. Think about a sinful man encountering a holy God! Every ounce of his being must have been shaking.
I am grateful – because of what Jesus did, we Christians do not need to experience this kind of fear when we’re in God’s presence.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16, ESV)
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. (James 4:8a, ESV)
The New Testament encourages us to draw near to the God of grace. We are to be confident in his presence. Our confidence should not be arrogant, however – it should be humble and grateful. In his presence, we receive mercy and grace. In our time of need, we’ll find mercy and grace.
Moses was afraid in God’s presence because he was aware of God’s holiness and his own sinfulness. As believers now, we can feel welcome in the Lord’s presence. What do people experience when they are in your presence? Are they intimidated by you? Or are you a person who is marked by mercy and grace?
Grace and mercy should be the key characteristic of Christian relationships and are important enough to be posted over every church. Let’s work toward having our speech be shaped by grace and mercy.
Lord, help me to speak every word with grace and mercy. . . . Continue praying.