GOD’S BEING ON HIS THRONE IN THE HEAVENS
A. Genesis 1:3-5 tells us that on the first day, God created light. The Spirit was hovering over the waters. The God spoke, and there was light. God saw the light was good. He liked making light.
Genesis 1:3-5 (ESV)
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
B. Question: Genesis 1 tells us that the sun, moon, and stars were not created until the fourth day. So when God said “let there be light” on the first day, what light do you think the Scriptures are talking about?
C. What color was this light? What did this light do? Light moves very fast.
D. One interesting thing to note about light is how Scripture says it relates to how God has arranged and organized the “form” of His being in the heavens to make Himself accessible to creation. God exists outside of His creation. God has always been. Before the heavens and the earth were created, God always was. Even the highest heavens cannot contain God.
1 Kings 8:27 (NIV)
“But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven (Hebrew shamayim), cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!
E. Yes, God is beyond the highest heavens. He is infinite. The created order cannot contain Him. And yet when God created the heavens and the earth, He desired to dwell in intimate friendship with His creatures. He wanted to interact with His creation. He didn’t just want to be an abstract idea or concept in the minds of His creatures. But if God is beyond even the highest heavens, how would His creatures be able to access Him? How could He arrange and organize His Being in such a way that angels could draw near and hear Him singing? How could He organize His Being in relationship to creation so that it accurately reflected who God always has been even before the event of creation– one God in three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? How could He make Himself available to creation so that angels and human beings could actually look upon Him in a way with which they could relate?
F. One of the things God did when He created the heavens and the earth was to clothe Himself in light.
Psalm 104:1-2 (ESV)
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, 2covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent (NIV – “He wraps himself in light as with a garment”)
G. Light didn’t exist until God said, “Let there be light.” Light is something created. God is beyond light. So the uncreated God clothed Himself in something He created. Why do you think God did this?
H. God is humble. In humility God the Father wrapped Himself in light when He created the heavens and the earth. He wanted us to be able to “get” to Him. He wanted Himself to be accessible to angels and human beings. We need light in order to see. Before God created us, He knew we would need this. So He wrapped Himself in that which He knew would penetrate and fill our eyes.
I. When God in love and humility wrapped Himself in light, He arranged this light in the form of a majestic Body that could be felt, touched, seen, and heard. This Body of light makes Him accessible and visible to His creatures in the heavens and to those human beings who have seen the throne room.
Isaiah 6:1-4 (NIV)
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” 4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
Daniel 7:9-10 (NIV)
9 “As I looked, “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. 10A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.
J. Perhaps the most spectacular glimpse we have of God on His throne is in Revelation 4. Here we learn that at least some of the light with which God wrapped Himself is a glowing, fiery red color. Also, emerald or green light covers His throne in the form of a rainbow. The rainbow in Scripture is a sign of covenant, mercy, and long-suffering (Gen.9). When I think of green, I think of plants and life. God’s emotion and passion for creation is red-hot and eternally burning.
Revelation 4:1-3 (NIV)
1 After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” 2 At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. 3 And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. 4 Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders.
Jasper (left) and Carnelian (right) (Wikipedia)
K. God’s body is also full of color. When light and water come together, you see colors. When God arranged a “focal point” for His Being in the heavens and gave Himself a Body, did He do this by interweaving light with water somehow? Last week we talked about how there is a lot of water in the heavens. Did God bring some of that water in the heavens together with light to form a Body by which His creation could relate to Him? God eagerly desires relationship.
L. In the above visions, God’s Body on His throne has hands, a head, feet, and legs. The Scriptures say that God made the earth out of water, and that God made us from the dust of the earth. We need water to live. They also say that He made us in His image. Does this mean that we have hands and feet and heads and hair, because in the heavens God first wrapped Himself with a Body of light and water that had those parts?
M. Again, that God is sitting on His throne in the heavens in a Body of water and light is not because He needed to. He is beyond the heavens. They cannot contain Him. It was because He wanted to.
N. Jesus is like His Father. Just as the Father in humility voluntarily clothed Himself in light (and possibly water), so the eternal Word of God, the Son, followed His Father’s example and voluntarily wrapped Himself in human flesh (made of water) for our salvation. Like Father, like Son.
Philippians 2:4-11 (NIV)
4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Hebrews 2:14-15 (NIV)
14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.