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33Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.

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33. Because the place wherein. The Lord meant by this commendation which he giveth to the place, to lift up the mind of Moses into heaven, that he might not think upon any earthly thing. And if so be that Moses was to be pricked forward with so many pricks, that having forgotten the earth, he might hearken to God, must not we have our sides even, as it were, digged through, 433433     “Annon quasi fodiendi sumus,” must not we be, as it were, stabbed. seeing we are an hundred times more slow than he? Notwithstanding, here may a question be asked, how this place became so holy? for it was no more holy than other places before that day. I answer, that this honor is given to the presence of God, and not to the place, and that the holiness of the place is spoken of for man’s sake. For if the presence of God do make the earth holy, how much more force thereof ought men to have? 434434     “Quanto majorem vim ab hominibus percipi aequium est,” how much more forcibly ought man to feel it? Notwithstanding, we must also note, that the place was thus beautified only for a time, so that God did not fix his glory there, as Jacob erected an altar to God in Bethel, after that God had showed some token of his presence there, (Genesis 35:7.) When as his posterity did imitate the same afterward, it was such worship as was reproved. 435435     “Perversus cultus fuit,” it was perverted worship. Finally, the place is called holy for Moses’ sake only, that he may the better address himself to fear God and to obey him. Forasmuch as God doth now show himself unto us everywhere in Christ, and that in no obscure figures, but in the full light and perfect truth, we must not only put off our shoes from our feet, but strip ourselves stark-naked of ourselves. 436436     “Sed nos totos exuere,” but divest ourselves entirely.