There is a passage of scripture that has been rattling around in my head for a while now and it concerns footstools.
Acts 7:49 and Isaiah 66:1 both say: “Thus says the Lord, “Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest?’”
This verse spoken by God Himself declares that earth is a footstool, thus I have been pondering footstools. The answer to the two questions ‘where then is a house and a place for God to rest’?' are not really questions expecting an answer, rather they are rhetorical, because the answer is obviously, “no where.” There is no house large enough to contain God and no place that man could make that would be able to contain Him. No Where.
We bought a couch, well actually is it called a Chaise Sofa and it has a built-in footstool part. I love it. As I sit here with my legs up on the footstool, I realize that the footstool part is not the part doing any heaving weight bearing, it simply holds up my feet. It is not the bulk of the couch; the couch is holding my weight. If I took the footstool part away, I would still have a couch, but if I took the couch away, what good is the footstool with no place to sit? This has caused me much thought in light of the verse above.
If we took earth away – God would still have His throne and His Kingdom because the earth is not the “bulk” of it according to the verse in Isaiah.
Where is the bulk of God’s Kingdom? We would all answer “Heaven.” Think about it for a couple minutes. Earth is simply a footstool and the bulk, the biggest part, the part where God resides is so much larger than the earth and we are not really even aware of it.
As we see our world panicking over so many issues these days, governments and people colliding with who is in charge of the footstool. I saw this picture on facebook and thought it fitting, us scrambling to survive when dark storms threaten to over whelm us. In light of the bigger picture of heaven, these clouds, these storms now become footstool issues. In the broad spectrum of things, God is not at all concerned about the storms – they do not ruffle His feathers, they do not cause Him sleepless nights. He is totally fine, knowing that footstool problems are minor. I wonder if all these fighting dictators realize that they are trying to take control of a footstool?
But here in our life, the problems sure seem to be big to us! Larger than life some of them!
I started looking for other passages where footstool is used in the Bible – so I was not basing my thoughts on a “one off” passage. It turns out there are many footstool passages and all of them imply that footstools are simply that: a minor piece of furniture, where you can lightly rest your feet, not a major player in any décor situation.
2 Chronicles 9:18 “There were 6 steps to the throne and a footstool in gold attached to the throne, and arms on each side of the seat, and 2 lions standing beside the arms.”
James 2:3 “and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing fine clothes, and say, ‘you sit here in a good place,’ and you say to the poor man, ‘you stand over there, or sit down by my footstool.’”
Psalm 132:7 “Let us go into His dwelling place; Let us worship at His footstool.”
Psalm 99:5 “Exalt the Lord our God and worship at His footstool; Holy is He.”
Matthew 5:35 “or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the City of the Great King.”
Hebrews 1:13 10:13 , Luke 20:43, Acts 2:34-35 “But to which of the angels has He ever said, “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for Your feet?’”
Does this mean that the earth is not important to God? Heck no, it does not mean that at all. Earth is so important that God came down from heaven to walk on this footstool with His own feet. Jesus walked this earth with us, He journeyed with us.
What it does mean is that we are to tread lightly, not give in to panic at the thought of something that might change our world…(ie: a move, a new job, a wedding, governments, climate change). You see these are footstool problems, not climatic problems, footstool problems and in God’s perspective – it is really not an issue. In the grand scheme of things, God has already provided a solution to any problem we have. It is how He operates. He never gives you a problem without providing a solution. If it is not an issue to God, perhaps it is best then to lean into the couch and put your feet up and let Him handle it.
The question then becomes, “what is the purpose of this footstool that we inhabit?”
The footstool it is a part of our journey to our destination. (albeit the “couch”, the larger place where we can rest our weight).
The Israelites in the desert after they had escaped from Eypgt, had to journey to the Promised Land. The prized Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey, with rich soil for crops, an abundance of water and room to grow. In our footstool analogy, that would be the couch with soft fluffy pillows and long enough to stretch out on and have a nap.
We too are on a journey to our Promised Land. The Bible is clear that Heaven is our Promised Land, but we have a journey to make in order to get there. God is not concerned about the “destination” He already has taken care of that, He wants us to enjoy, learn and take in the journey. Most of us want to bypass the journey and just plain “get there!” oblivious to the sights along the way.
It is summer vacation, and many people are out and about on the highways. Is your family one that climbs in the car, packs the snacks and drinks, tightens the seatbelts and rarely stops until you arrive at the destination? Mom and Dad puff their chest out proud that they made the trip half an hour faster than the last time! The kids are traumatized because they had to hold "it" each time they asked to go to the bathroom. Dad only stopped when it looked like their eyes were floating! Mom was yelling at Dad cause the kids really had to "go!"
Or are you the family that packs the snacks and drinks or maybe you stop at every Tim Hortons along the way and refresh with a potty break and a coffee, you even stop at every look out point, bravely wandering down an unfamiliar road now and then to see where it leads, content to arrive at the destination when you get there? This second family tacks on 2 extra hours behind the first family but they really do not care, they enjoyed the trip complete with singing, stories and fun!
God is not interested in how “fast” you get there, He wants you to enjoy and be grateful for the journey and travel with Him. Jesus came to teach us how to journey with God, He was always aware of His Father no matter where He was, it was a together time.
When we drove to Vancouver last month, we had lots of different terrain. The mountains of Jasper were breath taking, the forests were green and lush, the winding road between here and Hinton was curvy with little shoulders, the desert area around Kamloops was barren looking, and then the mighty Fraser River comes into view around Hope. All different, but all the same road to Vancouver.
We may not like having to work our way up the hills or descend into the valleys along the way, but that is the way the road of life is taking us. We may pull out our maps and try to figure out just where we are on the road of life and how many more miles or kilometers we have left to go.
I am learning that being thankful is a key to living on any road, in any terrain. Thankfulness is learning to accept where I am in the journey and not allowing the storms, the blackness to engulf my part of the footstool all the while knowing that God is fully in control of the entire footstool no matter what. I get to choose how I will react to footstool storms or perhaps, I will chose not to react at all, rather I can sit back, lean into the couch and put my feet up!