A Bible Study On Shoes - The Gospel In A Shoebox
The Gospel of the Shoe? Really
Pretty Feet Need Pretty Shoes!
A Bible Study On Shoes
Did you ever think you might find the Gospel message in a shoebox? I ponder such a question today.Indeed, I have been brooding in my devotions over such for about a month. . It amazes me how the LORD often peaks my interest in a subject and drives me to his Word to explore the universe of Biblical truths for golden nuggets of inspiration. The Gospel of the shoe certainly entertains me, but will it inspire me to be a better Christian? I hope it is not just a whimsical idea that does not motivate otherwise.
I heard once of a pastor who developed a sermon on a ‘peanut.’ His sermon was very interesting, but its inspiration was dubious. One of his young adults after the morning message greeted his pastor with these words, “Interesting sermon, Pastor! I have learned a lot from a ‘nut!’”
A Bible study on shoes does sound a little ‘nutty,’ but I hope the reader finds it motivational. Also, I think it might help some teacher or preacher or other miner of the Christian discoveries in the gold mine of the Bible. Is the ‘shoe’ really worthy of a Bible study? I ponder this, and the Holy Spirit reminds me of some reasons why it is. The following are possible symbolic representations of the metaphor of ‘shoes’ in the Scriptures.
1. In Exodus 3.5 – The removing of Moses’ shoes represents the believer standing on Holy Ground. . (See also Joshua 5:15)
2. In Exodus 12.11 – The wearing of shoes for the Passover represents the believer always standing ready and prepared.
3. In Deuteronomy 29.5 – The fact that God preserved the Israelite s’ shoes from wear represents the believer always under God’s care and provision.
4. In Ruth 4.7-8 – The exchange of the shoe between the kinsman and Boaz represents the believer’s purchased redemption - Christ purchasing our redemption.
5. In Psalm 108.9 – The shaken shoe represents the believer’s absolute victory over the enemy.
6. In Matthew 3.11 – The slave’s (John the Baptist's) unworthiness to even bear or to loose the sandals of his Master represents the believer’s humility before Christ. (see also Mark 1:7, Luke 3:16, John 1:27, Acts 13:25) We must ever ‘decrease’ that Jesus might ‘increase’ in our lives
7. In Luke 15.22 – Shoes are put on a worthless, prodigal son. This represents the believer’s acceptance into the family of God.
8. In Mark 6.9 – Sandals were to be worn, but no extras. This represented the believer’s total trust in Christ. (See also Mar 1:7, Luke 10:4, Luke 22:35) )
9. An Acts 12.8 – Peter is commanded to put on his shoes; he is being delivered. This represents the believer’s prayers answered!
10. In Eph 6.15 – Paul says to have our shoes on as our preparation of the Gospel of peace. This represents the believer’s walk, work and worship in peace.
God says the Christian has pretty feet!
I continue to ponder the few things that shoes have in common:
Shoes are made for people’s feet!
Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
If you are a Christian, God says you have ‘pretty’ feet. Guess what? Pretty feet deserve pretty shoes! God has pretty shoes for pretty feet, regardless of what kind of feet you have!
1. A TENDERFOOT is a beginner, inexperienced, a trainee.
2. To have COLD FEET is to back out, a coward, to change one’s mind.
3. ITCHING FEET, wanting to travel, always on the move, anxious.
4. FEET ON THE GROUND is to be realistic, pragmatic, slow to take risks, not a dreamer.
5. FOOT IN THE MOUTH, saying the wrong or inappropriate thing. (I have these feet quite often!)
6. PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN is to be firm, strong, sometimes a little stubborn!
7. HOT FOOT IT, do it fast, quickly, don’t let the clover grow under your feet.
8. FOOT THE BILL is to pay; Praise God for these feet; every church needs them!
9. GET ON YOUR FEET means to get established, become prosperous, lots of folks need these feet.
10. STEP ON TOES means to talk about things of which people may be guilty, create conviction or guilt about a matter, there is always somebody willing to use these feet.
What Shoes Do You Wear To Church?
There are shoes for every foot.
The church is like a big shoebox; full of pretty feet wearing pretty shoes. Some folks don’t like wearing shoes. They are like the big grizzly who resisted and bit his trainers for trying to shod him against his will. He said, “I would rather go ‘bear’ footed! However, the fact still stands there are shoes for every foot, and shoes are made for people.
This explains the wide variety of shoes. Different feet need different shoes! I think of five kinds of ‘going to church shoes.’ You might add to this list, but I think you will agree that at least these are worn to church:
FIRST PAIR OF SHOES IS A SNEAKER! These folks are like old Fatty Longtongue. I believe that someone caught him reading the Bible one day and asked him if he had changed his mind about how he lived his life. He is said to have replied he was looking for loopholes!
SECOND PAIR OF SHOES ARE RUNNING SHOES! - Jonah is the most famed person in the Bible for wearing running shoes! God told him what to do and where to go and immediately Jonah laced up his running shoes to head in the contrary direction of God’s will for his life.
THIRD PAIR OF SHOES PEOPLE WEAR ARE FLIP FLOPS! I will add no definition here; the reader knows whereof I speak.
THE FOURTH PAIR OF SHOES ARE BABY SHOES!
Hebrews 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (KJV Bible)
LAST PAIR OF SHOES THAT COMES TO MY MIND WHICH A CHRISTIAN WEARS IS COMBAT BOOTS!
Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (KJV Bible)
Ephesians 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (KJV Bible)
Shoes have tongues too!
Boots, Flops or Sneakers; every foot has a shoe, and most shoes have some things in common!
They have tongues, they have eyes, they have souls, and they have heels! I have known a lot of heels over the years, but what ‘steps on my toes’ in this rant is that I also have a heel as part of my nature. I work at being and looking sanctified; I endeavor to be kind, I toil to be gentle; but there I am walking in my shoes daily with my ‘heel’ ready to ‘walk all over you.’ It takes prayer and God’s amazing grace to keep our heels in check.
It reminds me of a ‘lady’ who was known for how gracefully she walked on highest high heels. She remarks, “No problem, heels are like men, easy to walk on –once you learn how!
It is humbling to think we all have a part of us that is a ‘heel.’
On the other hand, the best shoes are leather. Something has to die to make these shoes. This is the ‘shoe’ every Christian wears. Jesus Christ, Messiah, Son of God gave His life on the Cross, and we thus walk in his grace. Like the children of Israel in the wilderness when they were under God’s grace and their shoes did not wear – these Christian ‘shoes’ will last us till we get to heaven.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (KJV Bible)
(Deuteronomy 29:5) And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot.
Shoes that do not wear out – What a metaphor for the Christian walk. Think about it! Shoes can illustrate life’s purpose and direction.
- O, be careful little feet where you go!
- O, be careful little feet where you go!
- O, be careful little feet where you go!
- For the Father up above is looking down in love
- O, be careful little feet where you go!
Shoes have both a maker and a fixer. God is both my creator and my healer.
Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (KJV Bible)
Now, here is a riddle:
All shoes have three things in common. First, they all are made for feet. Can you give me the other two common attributes of all shoes?
Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding,
Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding,
All shoes are made so they can be put on and taken off!
Sometimes I need to take my shoes off! Whew!
Exodus 3:1-6 – The story:
One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he went deep into the wilderness near Sinai, the mountain of God. 2 Suddenly, the angel of the LORD appeared to him as a blazing fire in a bush. Moses was amazed because the bush was engulfed in flames, but it didn’t burn up. 3 "Amazing!" Moses said to himself. "Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go over to see this." … 4 When the LORD saw that he had caught Moses’ attention, God called to him from the bush, "Moses! Moses!" … "Here I am!" Moses replied. … 5 "Do not come any closer," God told him. "Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground." 6 Then he said, "I am the God of your ancestors--the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." When Moses heard this, he hid his face in his hands because he was afraid to look at God. (NLT Bible)
Most folks take their shoes off to be comfortable. God tells Moses to remove his sandals because he is standing on ‘holy ground.’ Believe me, in a hot desert, standing in front of a burning bush, it had nothing to do with comfort. God is calling him from the sandals of comfort being a shepherd of sheep to sandals of leadership over His people. He wants Moses to lead; it is time to put off the old in order to put on the new! It is not comfort but discomfort being on holy ground. It is always so. Look how many of the prophets ‘fell’ as dead men before the glory of holy ground; I believe we cannot truly touch God’s holiness without being transformed!
Think of another “take off your sandals” moment of being transformed. The story of Ruth when a kinsman removed his shoe and gave it to Boaz!
(Ruth 4:7) The story of the shoe representing our redemption1
Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbor: and this was a testimony in Israel. (Ruth 4:8) Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe
The shoes represents the ownership rights of inheritance. When a man died, his brother was supposed to take the man’s wife to keep his birth line and inheritance intact. If the man refused, the ‘wife’ could take his shoes from him, and spit in his face for the disgrace. Instead, the near kinsman to Ruth took off his own shoe and offered it to Boaz. This is the theme of the story of Ruth representing our relationship to Christ because this kept the Messianic line from Abraham to Christ intact.
Finally, shoes are made to be worn!
We wear the “shoes of a Christian” because we are Christian. We are part of the family of God. These shoes never come off! We have removed the old shoes of our old life, and God gives us new shoes bought with the price of His only begotten Son. We wear these shoes for eternity!
We are like the prodigal in the story of the prodigal son of Luke 15.
Luke 15:22) But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: (KJV Bible)
Here is this
rebellious, worthless, disloyal son who demands of his daddy an inheritance
before his father’s death, who takes this handout, who doesn’t repent till it
is all wasted – here he is audaciously wallowing in pig stink. Finally, he comes his senses, and decides to
return to papa! What does the father
do? The father is so elated - He runs with joy, He embraces with Godly
forgiveness, He kisses much, He orders dinner and a party, and He gives his ‘new’
son a pair of shoes! The prodigal is once again a
son. He is wearing the shoes to show it!
Put on your shoes, Christian friend. These shoes are made for walking!
(Ephesians 6:15) And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (KJV Bible)
The Roman soldier wears shoes for battle. These are not ordinary shoes. They are usually made of brass. They begin with a greave which covers from the knee to the upper portion of the foot. The shoe itself is brass topped and leather sides, and, of course spike bottoms. You might say, “These are killer shoes!” Paul is saying, “The Christian shoes are ‘killer’ shoes.
These ‘killer’ Christian shoes are called ‘peace.’ “Peace” is an awesome weapon; it is a defensive and offensive weapon. Peace will not only protect you; peace is also a brutal weapon, which when used correctly, keeps spiritual foes where they belong—under your feet! The peace of God will always keep through every storm of life!
Two painters are asked to paint a picture illustrating peace. The first paints a beautiful evening scene. In the foreground is a lake, its surface absolutely calm and unruffled. Trees surround it, meadows stretch way to the distant while cattle are gently browsing. Of course, there is a little cottage with the setting sun. Every stroke from the artist’s brush speaks of perfect rest. The second painter draws a wild, stormy scene. Heavy black clouds hang overhead; in the center of the picture is an immense waterfall pouring forth huge volumes of water covered with foam. One can almost hear its unceasing roar. It seems at war with peace, till you look closer. It is a small bird perching in a cleft of a huge rock, absolutely sheltered from all danger, pouring forth its sweet notes of joy. It is the second painter who is describing the peace that passes all understanding which is the Lord Jesus Christ, the wisdom of God in the heart of the redeemed. One can only have peace with himself if he has peace with God.
The final shoe I speak of in this metaphor is the shoe of peace. Wear it proudly.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Shoes of Peace Are Part of the Armor of God!
Two Shoes - Southern Gospel Song
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