Thus said the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build to me?…
1. The subject of remark — God Himself. "Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is My throne, the earth is My footstool." The attention is turned simply to God — His grandeur, His magnificence, His immensity, His omnipresence. He abides in heaven, He puts the earth under His feet.
2. The manner in which the remark about God is conducted, is that of a kind of contrast betwixt Him and men. "Where is the house that ye build unto Me, and where is the place of My rest?" God is unlike man. He challenges any comparison. "The heaven, even the heaven of heavens, cannot contain Him. Ancient kings aimed often to Impress their subjects with an idea of their magnificence, and surrounded themselves with a solemn and salutary awe, by rearing palaces of the most imposing splendour and magnificence. They wished to overawe the multitude. On this ground, God Himself, seems to have ordered the unequalled grandeur of the ancient temple. But in doing it, He took care that its dazzling beauty and stateliness should only be an aid, a stepping-stone, to assist the imagination in its upward reach towards the grandeur of God. In the prayer of the dedication, Solomon's devotion soars infinitely above the temple. Here, the majesty of God, and the littleness of man, stand side by side. After mentioning the earth and the heaven, God says, "All these things hath My hand made."
3. But yet, lest dread should too much terrify the worshipper, or a high and just idea of God's infinite majesty lead the humble into the error of supposing that such an august Being would not regard such an insignificant creature as man, he adds, "To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word." A turn of thought well worthy of our admiration. A contrite sinner has nothing to fear from God. His very majesty need not terrify him. Indeed, His majesty constitutes the very ground for his encouragement. It can condescend. Just as much does the King of kings and Lord of lords glorify Himself, when He consoles, by the whisperings of His Spirit, the poorest and most unworthy sinner that ever felt the pangs of a bruised heart, as when He thunders in the heavens as the most High, and gives His voice, hail-stones and coals of fire. With this idea, sinners should-approach Him and meditate His grandeur.
(I. S. Spencer, D. D.)
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?