Genesis 2:4 states “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.” While many would read this merely as a restatement of God’s creation as mentioned in Genesis 1:1, close scrutiny of this verse reveals certain hidden truths that are intriguing for sure, but more importantly should not be overlooked.
Note how the earth is noted as singular while heavens is noted in the plural. The place where we dwell is this ‘singular’ earth, and it is God’s footstool (Isaiah 66:1) until it is melted/laid bare as passed away (2 Peter 3:10) and a new earth is made (Revelation 21:1), but for now, it is on this one earth, that God’s kingdom is to come as Jesus expresses in the prayer he taught the disciples when he said, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done ON EARTH as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
Genesis 1:1 records that God created the heaven and the earth and here the word heaven is in the singular form. However in Genesis 2:1 and 2:4 the word heaven is used in the plural forms as “heavens” implying that that there is more than one heaven. While this may seem as a discrepancy, since the word of God is infallible, we need to search only the Scripture (not Science or some other texts and scrolls) further to understand the singularity and plurality of heaven. The heaven in singular (which is mentioned in Genesis 1:1 and the prayer Jesus taught the disciples) is where the throne of God is, for the prophet Isaiah in the first verse of chapter 66 records that God says, “THE heaven is my throne and THE earth is my footstool.” Prophet Nehemiah ties this heaven where God’s throne is to the other heavens he created, for in chapter 9 verse 6, he records that God has made the heaven, the heaven of heavens implying that the heaven where God’s throne (implying kingship) is above all of his creations – the heavens (and the earth). God is King and his fullness in Jesus must be understood as Jesus – The KING of KINGS and the LORD of LORDS (Revelation 19:16).
Now one may be inclined to ask, what are these other heavens that God has created. Going back to the infallible Scripture, we see apostle Paul write in his letter to the church in Corinth, in chapters 12 verses 2 to 4 that he saw in a vision a man caught up to a third heaven and to paradise. From this we can infer that the other heavens are places of God’s creation where those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are or will go to be. Jesus told the repentant thief on the cross next to his own, when he recognized Jesus as Lord and King, that most assuredly “You shall be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43) Furthermore, apostle Paul writes “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8).
Points to ponder:
We must not get caught up with the number (how many) and location (where) of the heavens for that which is not revealed are the secret things that belong to the Lord (Deuteronomy 29:29). Instead we must be transformed and renewed so that we are caught up to the heavens when Jesus returns in his glory to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. One thing we be certain of now is this – God created the heaven (where his throne is) for he is King, the heaven of heavens (3rd heaven, paradise) and the earth. Paradise means a place of rest and where the Lord is there is rest (liberty from the chains that bind us which makes us unrestful) and only in Jesus Christ can one find true rest, for Jesus said, “Come unto me, all of you that are weary and heavy laden and I WILL GIVE YOU REST.” (Matthew 11:28).
God is in the heavens (Psalm 115:3) and on earth we must pray and seek his kingdom first (Matthew 6:33) so that we when are caught up to be with him (in the heavens), we shall be worthy to enter into his rest (Hebrews 4:1). Harden not your hearts and come to come to Jesus! As he promised, he will give you rest, when you believe.
Genesis 2:1,4 (KJV)
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,
Nehemiah 9:6 (KJV)
6 Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.
Psalm 115:2-3 (KJV)
2 Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God?
3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.