The Heavens Are Closed – What To Do, Haggai 1:9-11
The Bible sometimes refers to heaven as
heavens, Gen. 2:1, 4. Any difference between the two? On its face value they
are one and the same entity. However a closer look indicates that heavens
refers to the heavenly bodies, ps. 8:3 while heaven is the seat of God, Luke
10:18, all of which were created by the Most High Himself, Ps. 115:16.
So where then is heaven/heavens? They
are located above the earth, Rom. 10:6. While God created humans here on earth He
made the angels in heaven, including Lucifer, one of the three archangels,
Gabriel and Michael. Lucifer was the one who turned himself into satan, the
rebel God drove out of heaven, Ezek 28:14-19, Rev. 12:7-12.
For the purpose of this discussion one
can explain the heavens/heaven in at least three dimensions.
First there is the Atmospheric Sphere
from where the earth receives its sustenance. It is the place from which rain
and dew descend providing water for vegetation for man and animal. It is also
the source of thunder, lightning and hail. When the heavens are open there is
abundance of water, the natural source of life Deut. 28:12. When they are closed
there is drought and men suffer, I Kings 17:1, 7. God can also use thunder and
lightning and hail to destroy, Ex. 9:22-25. In which case God can use rains to
favour His people when they live in obedience, Lev. 26:4 & 5. But those who
are opposed to Him and His tenets He visits with unprecedented destruction
using fire and brimstone as His agents, Gen. 19:24 & 25; Lk. 17:29. While
He remains habitually merciful, providing for both the just and unjust, Matt. 5:45,
no one should take Him for granted – He can withhold the benefits of Heaven
from compulsive sinners, Amos 4:6-9
So the first or Atmospheric Heaven can
be, for man, a source of blessing or anguish. Everyone is allowed to make his
choice, Joshua 24:15.
The second heaven is the Celestial Sphere.
It is the dormain of the sun, moon and stars. They provide illumination – the
sun, during the day, and the moon and the stars during the night. Without them
man would exist, if he does at all, in total darkness. Besides, trees, herbs
and animals, on which humans depend for food, would die. Clearly God did not
create the heavenly bodies for sight-seeing. They are for the benefit of human
communities. And when man abandons or ignores God He can use one or the other
of these heavenly bodies to favour His own and disfavour His adversary Josh.
10:6-14, Isaiah 38:4-8.
The Third Heaven, is the seat of God,
His power-center, the place from which His mercy and judgment flow down to the
earth, 2Cor. 12:2. A sub-sphere of the Third Heaven is Paradise, the place of
rest for the faithful, Lk. 16:19-31, Lk. 23:42-43.
Although heaven is the seat of God His
spirit is everywhere- with us, in us and around us, which may be illustrated by
the prophet’s revelation in Isaiah 66:1.
The intention of God is to keep heaven
open so that His children can prosper, Jer. 29:11, physically, materially,
mentally and spiritually, 3 John 2. God is holy and He wants believers to be
like Him, Lev. 19:11, Matt. 5:48. God is merciful and gracious but He is also the
God of judgment, Jer 9:23 & 24. When you observe the rules He relates to
you with love and care as He did to David before He fell into sin. But when
David committed adultery and murder He drove him out of His presence, 2 Sam.
God hates sin, which is why He closes
the heavens against compulsive sinners, John 9:31 but when they repent He
welcomes them back with open arms, and sometimes, He even rolls out the drums,
Luke 15:17-24. But do not ever take Him for granted. David’s wife, Michal, made
jest of her husband – King David, when he celebrated God in the open without observing
tradition. But no one ever makes fun of God and gets away with it – Michal
became barren for life, 2 Sam. 6:14-23.
When the heavens are closed on you, your
community or nation and you still have a chance to do something about it, a
chance king Herod never had nor deserved Acts 12:20-23, abandon the habits
which led you into the situation in which you find yourself, pray to God for
forgiveness as the king and people of Nineveh did, and God would visit you with
His mercy, Jonah 3:4-10.
But there are challenges faced by a
child of God, which may suggest to the uninformed that the Heavens over him are
closed, when that may not be the case. A precipitous decline in business,
troubles in marriage, loss of a well-paying job, prolonged ill-heath…any or a
combination of these might not necessarily be an indication that God is angry
with His beloved.
As the Apostle Paul has said, these and
many more problems are common to man but God would provide a way out for His
own, I Cor. 10:13. Sometimes satan is the culprit but, not without God’s
knowledge and limited approval, as in the case of Job, Job 1:8-12. It is a
trial of your faith and you will triumph in the end if you remain steadfast in
your loyalty to Him, Job 42:10-17.
He would never forsake nor abandon you.
He who honours those who may not even know Him, and uses them for His own glory,
would not turn His back against you without a cause, Isaiah 45:1-4.