February 26 I Friday
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” —Genesis 1:1
What is heaven? Is it a place or a thing? The answer is both, but it depends on the context because the Bible speaks of “heaven” or “heavens” in three different ways. Firstly, it speaks of the heavens as being the clouds or the sky. For example, Genesis 7:11 when the flood came in Noah’s day, it says, “the floodgates of the heavens were opened,” where “the heavens” refers to “the clouds.” In Genesis 11:4, when the people wanted to build the Tower of Babel, they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens.” In other words, they want to build a tower that reaches to the clouds.
Secondly, the Bible speaks of “heaven” as space, where the stars reside—the vast universe. We see this when God said to Abraham in Genesis 15:5, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them” (NKJV). And likewise in Psalm 8:3, “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place....”
Thirdly, the Bible speaks of “heaven” as the place where God lives, His home. The book of Revelation pulls back the curtain on mysteries that we cannot know in this life, apart from by revelation, and takes us into heaven to see the great scene around the throne of God. Heaven is the place where Jesus came from, as He told us, “For I have come down from heaven not to do My will but to do the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38). Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:2, “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven.” What Paul means by “third heaven” is the dwelling place of God, which is also the future home to those of us who are in Christ.
What do we know about this heaven that is God’s home? Not a lot. Nonetheless, one source of understanding and information is what Scripture tells us. We have no clue where heaven is in the universe because it is not limited by the normal boundaries of time and space. But heaven is a real place that can be seen, touched and inhabited by beings with material bodies. The bottom line is that everything good and beautiful here on earth will be better in heaven. As we admire and marvel at the world around us, can we imagine the indescribable wonders of heaven?
Prayer: Lord Heavenly Father, You are the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Although I cannot grasp what heaven is like, I know it is Your home and I can look forward to spending eternity with You there. Thank You, Lord.