48 “However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says: 49 “‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? 50 Has not my hand made all these things?’
When God declares, by external rites, that he will be present with his people, he commands them to life up their minds and seek him spiritually Hypocrites, entangled in the world, prefer to pluck God out of heaven.
Now we know what the prophet means when he says that God has no resting place in the world. God would have liked the temple to have been a sign and pledge of his presence, but only to the godly who raised their hearts to heaven and worshipped him spiritually with pure faith. He has no resting place with the superstitious, who by their foolish ideas tie him to the elements of this world or set up an earthly form of worship, nor with the hypocrites, who are puffed up with drunken confidence, as if they have done their duty to God well after they have amused themselves with their absurdities. In short, when we receive the promise in faith, that causes God to listen to us and to reveal his power in the sacraments, as if he were present; but unless we rise up to him by faith, we shall not have his presence.