What God Has Prepared
A few nights ago, I woke up with a clear phrase in my head. It was, “no eye hath seen nor ear hath heard.” I knew this was part of a verse from the Bible, but I had to look it up to remember where it’s located. It’s from 1st Corinthians 2:9, where the apostle Paul is writing to the early believers at Corinth about the wisdom of God.
As it is written, Paul says, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him…” Paul is actually referencing a passage from the Old Testament book of Isaiah: “From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him.” (Isaiah 64:4) Paul goes on to say that the unimaginable things God has prepared for those who believe in him are “revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depth of God.” (2:10).
While Paul wasn’t specifically talking about Heaven in this passage, I’ve heard these verses from 1st Corinthians used to refer to the promise of our future heavenly home as believers in God in Jesus Christ.
What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart
conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.
Do you ever wonder about Heaven? Apparently, a lot of people do. Several months ago, I put out a query on my Facebook page: “What do you wish you knew more about, from the Bible?” Of the dozen or so responses, half were about Heaven or “eternity.” Any of us who believes there is Heaven, hopes to get there; and any who believe there is life beyond this earthly one we see, wonders what that life will be like. For some, the idea of Heaven and eternal life is completely joyful and comforting. For others, it is somewhat unsettling and worrisome. It’s hard to imagine what we can’t imagine! It’s hard to picture what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived. Even if we know that being in the presence of God will bring us eternal joy, we wonder what we’ll do in Heaven, and how we’ll exist, there.
I’m not sure why God placed those particular words in my mind that night. I had gone to bed with a prayer about my sermon that coming Sunday, and with thoughts about what it means to be responsible for preaching the Word. The other phrase that followed in my mind when I woke that night was, “to do no harm to the Gospel.” It’s interesting that in the verses preceding 1st Corinthians 2:9, Paul talks about what it means for him to be a faithful preacher of the Gospel; to avoid lofty words and to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
I am pondering two preaching series in the coming months; one on Revelation and the other on Heaven. I ask for your prayers, as we continue on this journey together of exploring anew “what God has prepared for those who love him.”