Thus said the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build to me?…
I. WHAT THE LORD DOES NOT REGARD. He speaks quite slightingly of this great building. But is it not said elsewhere that "the Lord loved the courts of Zion"? Did He not expressly tell King Solomon when his temple was completed, "Mine eyes and Mine heart shall be on it perpetually"? He did; but in what sense are we to understand those words? Not that He delighted in the grandeur of the house, but in as much of spiritual worship as was rendered there. The temple itself was no otherwise well pleasing to Him than as it was raised in obedience to His orders, and as it served, in its fashion and its furniture, for "an example and a shadow of heavenly things;" but the Lord "loved the gates of Zion" because the prayers of Zion were presented there. He points out to us two things — His throne, and His footstool! and then He leaves it to ourselves to say whether any building man can raise to Him can be considerable in His eyes.
II. Hear from the Lord's own lips THE DESCRIPTION OF THE MAN WHO DRAWS HIS EYE. "To this man," etc.
1. The sort of character described.
(1) He is "poor" — humble towards God. He is humble, too, towards his fellow-creatures; carrying himself meekly towards all men, and "in lowliness of mind, esteeming others better than himself." He is "slow to wrath" — patient under provocation — anxious not to be "overcome of evil" but rather to "overcome evil with good."(2) Another quality which marks the man to whom the Lord looks is contrition.
(3) He "trembleth at My word." But what kind of trembling is meant? Felix trembled at God's word; and many a wicked man from his days to the present has trembled at it also. And yet it has been but a momentary pang — a sudden fright that has come over them, but which they have soon laughed off again. Now it is certainly not this sort of trembling which the Lord regards. The man who "trembleth" at God's word is one who entertains a deep and abiding reverence for every word which hath proceeded from God's lips.
2. What does the Lord mean when He saith, "To this man will I look? He evidently means, "To this man will I look with an eye of notice and regard." The Lord's favourable look, be it remembered, is quite another thing from man's; there is help, and comfort, and support conveyed by it (Isaiah 57:15). The Lord but looked on Gideon, and Gideon, weak before, was wonderfully strengthened (Judges 6:14).
(A. Roberts, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?