Sunday, July 13, 2014

Heaven and the color green

Remains of the 12th-century Trim Castle in County Meath,
the largest Norman castle in Ireland
They call Ireland "The Emerald Isle" for its deep green, undulating countryside. The island nation was first nicknamed the Emerald Isle sometime around 1780 in a poem by William Drennan called "When Erin First Rose." Here is the first stanza
By

When Erin first rose from the dark swelling flood,
God bless'd the green island and saw it was good;
The em'rald of Europe, it sparkled and shone,
In the ring of the world the most precious stone. ...

I've never been to Ireland but I've been to Scotland and the north of England. The green hills of Scotland were tremendously vibrant. Perhaps it was the quality of the northern sunrays bouncing off the grass, or the mystery of travel exhilarating my emotions, but it seemed to be to be a quality of green like no other place I'd ever been. The green there calms the eye, soothes the soul, envelops the body is its aura.

One of my favorite verses in the bible is in Revelation.

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. (Revelation 4:3)
Green Pastures, river Severn at Caersws, Rod Trevaskus, CC

I love that emerald rainbow. When I pray I envision Jesus sitting on the throne, accepting prayer, listening, and the emerald rainbow all around Him.

I wonder what the color green will look like, up there. The bible says-

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)

I suppose even the color green as we know it will be startlingly different. There will be precious stones in the foundations of the city walls, including emerald-

The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, (Revelation 21:19)

Benbulbin Mountain, County Sligo, Ireland. Public Domain
Dictionaries - Easton's Bible Dictionary - Emerald

Heb. nophek (Exodus 28:18; 39:11); i.e., the "glowing stone", ... a precious stone in the breastplate of the high priest. It is mentioned (Revelation 21:19) as one of the foundations of the New Jerusalem. The name given to this stone in the New Testament Greek is smaragdos, which means "live coal."

Lucifer walked among the precious stones in heaven, including emeralds. (Ez 28:14). They adorned him.

You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created they were prepared. (Ezekiel 28:13)

The breastplate of the High Priest was adorned with precious stones, four rows of three stones each.

the second row shall be turquoise, lapis lazuli and emerald;(Exodus 28:17)
Public Domain. Green Pasture, Ireland

Originally, God gave to man every green plant for food. (Genesis 1:30) When judgment came, God sent locusts to eat every green thing. (Exodus 10:15). Green is often used in the bible to represent clean growth, and goodness. (Psalm 52:8, Proverbs 11:28)

I suppose the most famous mention of green in the bible is Psalm 23

The Lord Is My Shepherd
A Psalm of David.

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake


Randy Alcorn, who specializes in the study of heaven, wrote the non-fiction book called Heaven, and the fiction book Dominion. In Heaven, Alcorn said,
In the same way that the New Earth will be refashioned and still be a true Earth, with continuity to the old, the new cosmic heavens will likewise be the old renewed. In my novel Dominion I try to depict this in a scene in which Jesus takes a woman who has died to a new world:

Eventually they arrived on a world more beautiful than Dani could fathom—cascading waterfalls, rainbows of a hundred colors, mountain peaks five times higher than any on earth. Oceans with blue-green water, and waves crashing upon rocks the Page 4
size of mountains. Grassy meadows, fields of multicolored flowers—colors she had never seen before. This place seemed somehow familiar to her, yet how could it, since it was like nothing she’d ever seen? Still, she felt profoundly at home.

I believe this also. I think there will be the color green in the New Earth. Only better. Different, but the same. What will the emerald green of heaven look like? If the photos above are so beautiful, what awaits? An emerald sparkles. Green pastures are restful. The described emerald rainbow around the throne must be incredible. Yet, even then, the bible says we cannot imagine what awaits us.

No eye has seen, until we go home, that is! Then thanks to the blessed Savior atoning for our sin, and having prepared a place for us, we WILL see. What a day that will be.

3 comments :

  1. Suppose we'll be able to see in the infrared and ultraviolet light spectrum ranges? And what that would be like, one may only speculate. Our only way to "see" that nowadays is by computer-aided "false color images"

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  2. Elizabeth, Thanks so much for this blog! Did you ever think about how all our colors on earth are dependent on our light sources--the sun, incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, . . . But in our eternal home, according to Rev. 22:5, "They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light." Think about what effect that will have on colors! An infinitely superior LIGHT SOURCE creating colors beyond our earthly imaginations!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Amy,

      You're welcome! And thanks for educating me. I had not thought about how the fact that we perceive color is dependent on the light source! Wow, so fantastic! I'll have lots of good thoughts now, in pondering the fact that Jesus is pure, His glory-light is pure, and everything we will see comes from His light bouncing off our retinas, so the purity of the colors will be absolutely amazing. So very interesting, Amy!

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