Refraining our feet from evil ways
Psalm 119:101 -
I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.
In today's message the psalmist talks of refraining one's feet from evil! Does one do things with one's feet or more with their hands? Or is evil a name of a place that one goes to with one's feet?
It is in the understanding of today's message that one will know why Jesus washed only the feet of His disciple and commanded them to wash each other's feet. He told them at that time but they could do that (wash another's feet) only later, it was only because He gave them His Spirit and authority they could wash another's feet and today we too can wash the feet of others because Jesus gave us His Spirit (at Pentecost) and the authority to do so. We can wash other's Believer's feet but they have to wash their own hands but neither we nor anyone else can wash the hands of others.
You may have got confused with what I just stated. Let me explain.
We need to realize God commanded no one could enter the Tabernacle / come before the Lord without washing one's hands and feet. Breaking this commandment was considered even worse than murder; God stated any person who breaks this commandment would die. Since the Jews lacked understanding of this commandment and thought it was about washing thus they made washing a ritual that became more of bondage. They used vessels made of silver or of other precious metals for washing; some even engraved them with precious stones. One would literally know the financial status of the family by their washing vessel. Jesus detested this, therefore at times would not even wash His hands just to let them know what they were doing or believing in was wrong.
I understood washing of feet when I understood the symbol of feet in scriptures while reading Moses' first encounter with the Lord, when the Lord spoke to Moses through the burning bush. We read the Lord (Angel of the Lord) instructed Moses to remove his sandals when he approached the burning bush for it was holy ground. I just reflected on this instruction which the Lord gave, where was Moses standing? He was standing on a mountain. The whole place around him was the same; there was dirt / mud all around. The bush was not burning on some granite or marble flooring, it was normal earth. How far from the burning bush was holy ground? So the question came to my mind why did the Lord ask Moses to remove his sandals when approaching the burning bush/Him. His sandals would have had mud on them, the same mud which was all over the place.
It was later I realizes feet symbolized one way or walk of life and the Lord instructed Moses as he approached near to the place where the Lord's glory was manifested (burning bush) to come as he is. The also instructed the Jews / Israelites before the entered the Tabernacle to wash their feet (get forgiveness for the wrong in their life) and wash their hand (get forgiveness for their wrong doings), else if they approached His glory in a sinful state they would die.
Only God had authority to forgive sins and Jesus being Son of God and Christ also had the authority to forgive. He gave them this authority only after giving them His Spirit.
We as Christians, baptized with the Holy Spirit have authority to forgive sins, not only of those sinned against us but even those of others and this authority we receive through Jesus Christ. Those who are baptized in the Holy Spirit can forgive the sins of others but for our own sins we need to go to another brother or sister in the Lord.
In today's message the psalmist states one does not become holy because one keeps the Law but to keep the Law one need to be holy. The Law is not all about not doing evil but is more about doing good. To do good works we need to be close to God since it is the Lord who does the good works through us. If we live a life of evil then god will not be able to work through us. Thus we need to live a holy life to live a life of righteousness.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord we pray that we keep away from living a life of sin so that we can have a relationship with You, that we be a holy vessel for the works of the Tabernacle - the works of your Kingdom. Lord let it be registered in our hearts that Christianity is not all about not doing evil but more about doing your plans, about setting the coming of your Kingdom...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference ]
4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
Acts 7:33 - Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground.
18 Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein.
19 For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat:
20 When they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the LORD:
21 So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations.
3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?
7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.
8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.
Matthew 16:19 - And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Matthew 18:18 - Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Matthew 9:6 - But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.
Acts 5:31 - Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit:
23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
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