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. GOD'S REJECTION OF ALL MATERIAL TEMPLES. There was a time when it could be said that there was a house of God on earth. That was a time of symbols, when as yet the Church of God was in her childhood. She was being taught her A B C, reading her picture-book, for she could not as yet read the Word of God, as it were in letters. She had need to have pictures put before her, patterns of the heavenly things. Even then, the enlightened amongst the Jews knew well that God did not dwell between curtains, and that it was not possible that He could be encompassed in the most holy place within the veil It was only a symbol of His presence. But the time of symbols is now passed altogether. In that moment when the Saviour bowed His head, and said "It is finished! " the veil of the temple was rent in twain, so that the mysteries were laid open. So, one reason why God saith He dwelleth not in temples made with hands, is, because He would have us know that the symbolical worship is ended and the reign of the spiritual worship inaugurated at this day (John 4:21, 23). But our text gives, from God's own mouth, reasons why there can be no house at the present time in which God can dwell; and, indeed, there never was any house of the kind in reality — only in symbol For, say now, where is the place to build God a house? In heaven? It is only His throne, not His house! On earth? What, on His footstool? Will ye put it where He shall put His foot upon it and crush it? Fly through infinite space, and ye shall not find in any place that God is not there. Time cannot contain Him, though it range along its millenniums! Space cannot hold Him, for He that made all things greater than all the things that He has made. Yea, all the things that are do not encompass Him. But then, the Lord seems to put it, — What kind of a house (supposing we had. a site on which to erect it) would we build God? Sons of men. of what material would ye make a dwelling-place for the Eternal and the Pure? Would ye build of alabaster? The heavens are not clean in His sight, and He charged His angels with folly! Would ye build of gold? Behold, the streets of His metropolitan city are paved therewith, not indeed the dusky gold of earth, but transparent gold, like unto clear glass. And what were gold to Deity? Find diamonds, as massive as the stones whereof Solomon built his house on Zion, and then lay on rubies and jaspers - pile up a house, all of which shall be most precious. What were that to Him? God is a Spirit. He disdaineth your materialism. And yet men think, forsooth, when they have put up their Gothic or their Grecian structures, "This is God's house." And then the Lord shows that the earth and the heavens themselves, which may be compared to a temple, are the works of His hand. How often I have felt as if I were compassed with the solemn grandeur of a temple, in the midst of the pine forest, or on the heathery hill, or out at night with the bright stars looking down through the deep heavens, or listening to the thunder, peal on peal, or gazing at the lightning as it lit up the sky! Then one feels as if he were in the temple of God! Afar out on the blue sea, where the ship is rocking up and clown on the waves foam — then it seems as if you were somewhere near to God — amidst the sublimities of nature. But what then? All these objects of nature He has made, and they are not a house for Him.
II. GOD'S CHOICE OF SPIRITUAL TEMPLES. "To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word."
III. THOSE THAT ARE OF THIS CHARACTER SECURE A GREAT BLESSING. God says He will "look" to them. That means several things.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
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?