“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1 KJV)
Heaven and the Earth… This is very interesting. It does not merely say that God created the Earth. God creates them both. The Psalmist accurately notes, “Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein.” (Psalms 69:34 KJV) Notice the clarification that the term “Heaven” receives in verses seven and eight. “And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.” (Genesis 1:7-8 KJV) It is, at least in this context, the expanse. Oddly, this expanse seems to extend an enormous distance. “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:” (Genesis 1:14 KJV) A distance at least far enough to include the stars. Verse fourteen reveals two interesting things. First, the signs that these stars are for are not for Heaven, but for Earth. Second, that which is in this enormous expanse seems to consolidate like a cryptic map to have meaning for a much smaller area. Much like a rain cloud that can cover a large area in the sky that is both wide and deep it produces rain, which seems like a lot of water, yet is much more consolidated than the space it took up as a cloud. Verses that speak of the vastness of Heaven are certainly accurate when compared with Earth, but there is something to be said for the slowing, the taking of shape, or the appearing of things as they come to Earth. Like an idea or a plan that takes so much of the project’s resources and yet comes to fruition in the space of a single presentation. Like reading about or studying an individual’s accomplishments over the course of years and then the pleasure of finally meeting this person is completed in the span of a single hour.
This line of thought adds meaning to this frequently quoted verse, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11 KJV) Both the thoughts (or plans) and the expected end (or hope and future) are created by God. Heaven and the Earth… Likewise, other verses reveal the struggle between God and Man. “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 KJV) The heart of Man may have a plan, but the steps are actually directed by God. The obvious conflict is between Man’s heaven and God’s earth. There is also something to be said for this directional statement in the Lord’s prayer. “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 KJV) Literally when His kingdom does come it descends from the new Heaven to the new Earth. “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Revelation 21:2 KJV) Even the angels that Jacob saw in his dream began and returned to Earth. “And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.” (Genesis 28:12 KJV)
I write in this manner not to diminish the very real place that Jesus termed “paradise” (see Luke 23:43). It is rather a warning for those who have in mind their paths and steadily manage into an expanse that they are trying to create. Man attempts to create a heaven that they might recreate the earth. Once their plan and the resources are in place they manage all they can control. Those who surrender to Jesus know that He creates both the plan and the execution and they understand His unique position as the worthy creator. God’s weight rests on both Heaven (His throne) and Earth (His foot stool) (see Acts 7:49).
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” (2 Corinthians 10:5-6 KJV)