“Heaven is my throne, and the earth my footstool” (Acts 7:49)
I think I might have a bit of a fetish for footstools, as you will find many of them in my home. Some refer to them as ottomans or footrests, as well as footstools. Mine are in many shapes and sizes. Some round, some square, some oblong. Some of them lift for storage. Some of them I have mainly for décor. But they all have the same function. That is to rest one’s feet on.
In Isaiah 66 we find the words of the Lord, “heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool.” Stephen repeated that verse to the Sanhedrin in his scathing address to them just before they stoned him to death in Acts 7:49. So, what exactly does that mean? Does it mean that God gets tired and needs to put his feet up to rest?
Heaven is and always has been God’s throne. Heaven is his dwelling place, the center of his presence. It is where he rests his fullness, or some say weightiness. The word for weight in the Hebrew is kavode. Kavode means glory. Heaven is the place where the weight of God’s glory reigns. The earth could never bear the weight of his glory. The full extent of God’s glory would be too much for earth. The fullness of God’s glory would be too much for any human being to experience. God told Moses in Exodus 33:20, “you cannot see my face, for no one can see me and live.” So, if the earth cannot bear the weight of God’s glory, yet the earth belongs to God, it becomes his footstool. He rests his feet on it. In other words, earth bears God’s imprint, but never his full weight.
That is important for us to know because it is important for us to remember that we live in a footstool world. This is not the place where God wants us to rest the fullness of our weight or our well-being. For us, everything in this world are footstool objects, commodities, instruments. Every possession – every problem – every experience – every issue – everything good, bad, and ugly. We rest our feet on it all – lightly. None of this is meant for us to sit on and get comfortable in, as if it were permanent. It is all meant to take lightly. To not give it more weight than the weight of our feet.
So, if we are to rest lightly on the footstool of earth, where do we rest the remainder of our being? That’s simple. In the heavenlies, where God’s glory is. It is what the bible calls living by faith.