Summary: Using the Biblical metaphore of foot and feet we are encouraged to live victoriously.
Charles W. Holt
STAND ON YOUR FEET
Scripture reading: Ephesians 6:10-20 especially verse 15
Text: Revelation 10:1-2
I know, as you do, that the book of Revelation is a book of mystery and symbolism. For this reason it is not the first choice for some when it is time to choose a favorite place to read from the Bible.
In the midst of the many mysterious pictures of beasts, horses, trumpets, and vials pouring out death and destruction there is one picture I want us to focus on because of a powerful truth it presents. It is a simple picture containing images that are familiar to us.
From the New King James Version we read: “I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire. He had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land.” And the verse continues. But we are not at this time interested in what follows.
From these verses I want to point out three things. There is (1) a mighty angel whose (2) feet are like pillars of fire. (3) He places his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land. For my purpose today the emphasis is upon (1) the angel’s feet and (2) where he places his feet. Why is this important?
Let me explain at the beginning—and this is important—that “foot” or “feet” represents the power possessed by a person; that which is under his foot is subordinated (in submission, under authority) to him. Therefore, when the angel places one foot on the sea and the other on the earth, (vs. 2) it indicates that all things are subjugated to him. The term “sea and land” is a Biblical formula indicating or symbolizing God’s total authority, dominion, and control over everything that is earthly. (Ford, Revelation, Vol. 38, p. 162, The Anchor Bible, Doubleday & Co., Garden City, NY, 1985)
It is stunning symbolism that has personal spiritual applications for our “sea and land” circumstances and situations.
Let me illustrate.
1. When Joshua led the Israelites across the Jordan River into the promised land of Canaan they faced hoards of hostile people. They had battles to fight. Enemies to subdue. In Joshua 10 we read of such an encounter. It was during this battle that one of the most famous events took place. It was here that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still. But our attention is focused upon the five kings who had formed an alliance against Joshua and his army. Their combined forces were defeated but the five kings had fled into a cave to escape detection. But their hiding place was discovered. The Bible says, “But these five kings had fled and hidden themselves in a cave at Makkedah. And it was told Joshua, saying, ‘The five kings have been found hidden the cave at Makkedah. So Joshua said, ‘Roll large stones against the mouth of the cave, and set men by it to guard them.’” (Joshua 10:16-18).
Later, after the battle scene was secure Joshua said, “Open the mouth of the cave, and bring out those five kings to me from the cave…..So it was, when they brought out those kings to Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said to the captains of the men of war who went with him, ‘Come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings.’ And they drew near and put their feet upon their necks. Then Joshua said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage, for thus the LORD will do to all your enemies against whom you fight’” (Joshua 10:22-25).
It is easy to see what Joshua is doing here. He is giving them an illustrated lesson. Its purpose is to encourage them to believe for future victories against all who would challenge them as they went forward to possess the land of God’s promise. Putting their feet upon the necks of these kings serves to demonstrate their dominance and authority over their enemies. We will come back to this event later.
There are many other interesting and inspiring passages of Scripture with this same theme. For example:
1. The Ark of the Covenant (within the inner court of the Temple) is called a resting place for the feet of God. Ezk. 43:7 and see Ps. 99:5, 132:7
2. Habakkuk 3:6 speaks of the Lord standing and measuring the earth.