Dear Pilgrim, have you noticed the beauty of your feet?
Take a look, dear Pilgrim. Yes, they may be hot and dusty from all the walking you have been doing, but do you see how beautiful they are?
Ah, the quizzical look in your eye…what are you wearing on your feet, dear Pilgrim? Do you see those sandals?
Remember, Pilgrim, when He first called you, when you realized you were standing on Holy ground, He told you to take off your sandals. How awesome was that moment when He revealed His Holiness to you, when you clearly saw for the first time your own uncleanness before Him. Remember how with trembling fingers you unstrapped your sandals as you bowed low before Him. Our God is Holy, Holy, Holy, and we can not bring anything with us before Him that is soiled and dirty. So those sandals which had been walking in the ways of darkness and wickedness had to be removed.
Oh, but Pilgrim, do you remember how He came to you and He Himself put sandals of fine leather on you (Eze 16:10)? The sandals that He gave you demonstrated that you were no longer a slave, a slave to sin, for slaves were given nothing to wear upon their feet. The sandals that He gave you announced before those watching that now you were a son – a son adopted into His family, given the prestige of wearing sandals upon your feet (Lk 15:22)! Oh, Pilgrim, we are not worthy to stoop down and untie the straps of His sandals (Mk 1:7), yet He came and knelt down at our feet as He dressed them in sandals of sonship and declared in great joy “How beautiful your sandalled feet!” (Song of Songs 7:1) What love is this?
Wearing these sandals of sonship, your feet have been released from snares (Ps 25:15), and instead you have been walking about in freedom because you have sought out His precepts (Ps 119:45). The path has become broad beneath you so that your ankles have not given way (Ps 18:36). Your feet have been set in a spacious place (Ps 31:8) as you have followed the lamp of His Word giving light to your path (Ps 119:105). Your feet, fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace (Eph 6:15) have been walking in the good works that He prepared in advance for you to do (Eph 2:10). On occasion it has been necessary for you to shake the dust off your feet (Mt 10:14) but have you noticed, dear Pilgrim, never once have you needed new sandals? For He has been sustaining you every step of the way (Dt 29:5).
Pilgrim, there is a further meaning behind His giving you sandals to wear. For unlike the idols which have feet, but cannot walk (Ps 115:7), our God has been walking ever since He created the world. He walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden in the cool of the day (Gen 3:8), and He promised His people “I will walk among you and be your God and you will be My people” (Lev 26:12). He walked amongst the lost sheep of Israel calling out those who would hear His voice, He walked to Golgotha to bear the penalty for our sin, His pierced feet walked with the disciples to Emmaus, and today He walks amongst His churches (Rev 2:1), speaking words of encouragement, rebuke and exhortation to those who have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches. Just as He walks, then, dear Pilgrim, we too must walk and follow our Good Shepherd as He leads the way for us, outside the city gate, to bear the disgrace He bore (Heb 13:13). Let us ask Him where He is walking, and let us follow. And do not fail to notice, dear Pilgrim, that as He walks He leads us upwards, ever heading towards Zion.
For there is a coming day when His feet will once again stand on the Mount of Olives (Zech 14:4), when He will gather us to be with Him, and when we will declare “Our feet are standing in your gates, Jerusalem!” (Ps 122:2). For this is the place of His throne and the place for the soles of His feet, the place where He will dwell among His people for ever (Eze 43:7).