Light and color in the bible

Our flesh is restricted to seeing only in this dimension. Even at that, God created a world that is astounding in variety and beauty. We can view His handiworks every day, no matter where we are.

Sunset. EPrata photo

I often think about the glimpses we are given in the bible of the new dimension to come: heaven. Whose mind isn't blown in reading Ezekiel's description of the angels with eyes all around? (Ezekiel 10:12). On the Mount of Transfiguration, the disciples saw that when Jesus prayed,

"And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light." (Matthew 17:2)

"his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them." (Mark 9:3). Imagine seeing a white so bright it wasn't even earthly!

God painted the sky with a covenant, the rainbow. (Genesis 9:13). He could have made the world monochrome and us colorblind, but He didn't. I think of this following scene a lot. When I pray I picture it. The emerald rainbow entrances me.

At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. (Revelation 4:2-6)

What colors! What beauty! We know Jesus is beautiful and since heaven will reflect Him, heaven will be inexpressibly beautiful.

"And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb." (Revelation 21:23)

"But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—" (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Cornflower blue. EPrata photo
We know that God cares about color because he set the world ablaze with it, and the animals. He is also very specific about color when describing how the Old Testament priests should dress. Colors mean things to God, for symbols and for beauty.

"And the screen for the gate of the court was embroidered with needlework in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen." (Exodus 38:18).

For example, blue. The color blue. Will it be the same in heaven? Will it look different? Will it be mixed with other colors we can't even detect now because we are in this dimension and become a totally different hue? We know it will be better, everything in heaven is better. Revelation 21:19 says that the second foundation of the city walls will be sapphire.
Me taking a photo reflected in a blue yard crystal ball. EPrata photo
Variegated blue pattern on a Jay. EPrata photo
Though we live in a fallen and sinful world, cursed actually, and there is so much ugliness, there is beauty too. Much is beautiful. The colors of the planets, a sunset, the changing hues of the sky as a storm drifts in, the colors of the sea, and the fish in it ... from above to below God has given us beauty by giving us color.

EPrata photo
The Great City to come, New Jerusalem will sparkle and be glorious in color.

"The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass." (Revelation 21:18-21)

Blue Skies above. EPrata photo
I heard Dr. MacArthur say once that he believes the city will be transparent so that God's glory will be seen by all inhabitants and there will be nothing to inhibit it from permeating everywhere.

When you go about your day and you see vivid colors in nature and man-made, think about the coming deepening coloration of all that we see and all that we are. Maybe even new colors. Charles Spurgeon wrote in his sermon "The Lamb- The Light"

"Light is the cause of beauty. That is obvious to you all, Take the light away, and there is no beauty anywhere. The fairest woman charms the eye no more than a heap of ashes when the sun has departed. Your garden may be gay with many colored flowers, but when the sun goes down you cannot know them from the grass which borders them. You look upon the trees, all fair with the verdure of summer, but when the sun goes down they are all hung in black. Without light no radiance flashes from the sapphire, no peaceful ray proceedeth from the pearl. There is naught of beauty left when light is gone. Light is the mother of beauty.

And Jesus is the Light (John 8:12). The source of all beauty is Jesus because He is the source of light, without Light, there is no beauty.



  1. Did you know that blue jays are actually not blue?

    1. "Blue jays actually are not blue at all. What appears blue is a unique brown pigment in their feathers which appears blue to us because of the way it reacts to light."

      SEE?? that is what I'm talking about! I can't wait for our glorified eyes to see colors in heaven. What we think we see now we aren't really seeing, the hues are a mixture, and in heaven I'm sure the palette will be gloriously enlarged. Thanks Jeff.

  2. I just saw this today, and since you mentioned birds, and I thought this worth sharing, I thought here is the post! What do you think of it? When I see things like this, it makes me think "oh that God, so mysteriously wonderful He is." I believe this may be another case of what to our human eye, just superficially scanning it, is nothing, yet, perhaps it is actually another example and proof, of God, and His hand in everything, that even in the way His birds, sit upon wires, is actually a pattern of music! :)

    1. This is very interesting and wonderful! It reminded me of the Music of the Spheres, where Pythagoras thought music was behind everything in the universe orderly and harmonious.

      the music was pretty, too.

    2. :) That is a great post you wrote too. I wish the lost would look at examples in creation, to see it's not that something just exploded into existence, with no meaning behind it. Rather, not only is there meaning, it seems yet another display of the amazingness of God, that He has included not just distinct patterns too, yea, even music! :)


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