Fourteen months after his first vision of God (Ezekiel 1:1), Ezekiel had another vision (Ezekiel 8:1) in which God revealed to him the abominations of Jerusalem. In his vision, Ezekiel saw a figure that looked like a human being. Ezekiel tried to describe what he saw in his vision. Ezekiel said that the figure “stretched out the form of a hand, and took me by a lock of my head; and the spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven, and brought me in visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the gateway of the inner court that faces north, to the seat of the image of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy” (Ezekiel 8:3).
The expression, “between earth and heaven” means that Ezekiel was lifted up into space and carried to Jerusalem where he was brought to the entrance of the north gate of the Temple and to the inner court. Through this vision, Ezekiel was able to give God’s message to the elder who had come to his house to inquire of the Lord.
Many years ago, I read a book by Salem Kirban titled I Predict in which the author wrote that the expression “between earth and heaven” was a prophecy of astronauts going into space because no one can travel in space without the equipment astronauts have. Only a fertile mind can see a prophecy of future astronauts in Ezekiel 8:3.
On April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin, a citizen of Russia, became the first human in space and was the first human to be between earth and heaven. It is said that in a speech to the Central Committee of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev said that Gagarin flew into heaven, but did not see any God there.
Gagarin did not go to heaven; he was in space, a few miles above earth. He was between “earth and heaven.” Since Gagarin, many people, both men and women, have been between earth and heaven. From that position, that is, from between earth and heaven, one can see the beauty of the earth from a perspective that few of us will ever see.
No one has even been between Mars and heaven, not yet. Some day, even during the lifetime of my sons, people will be able to travel to Mars and step on another world, a world which most of us have seen only through pictures. A few days ago NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander landed on the north polar region of the red planet. The pictures it is sending reveal a landscape that to some extent, is similar to earth’s.
No one has even been between Mars and heaven but the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft has and it is sending amazing pictures of Mars. Ask yourself this question: What would it be like to fly over Mars? If you are interested in finding out, NASA has prepared a video that combines data from the orbiting Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft with information from the Spirit rover to create a digital movie that will allow you to fly over the Columbia Hills of Mars. It is an amazing video with an amazing view of the Columbia Hills of Mars.
If you are fascinated with space travel and want to see more about Mars, you must watch this video. To watch the NASA video, click here.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
Tags: Mars, Space