The Expanse Between the Waters

From Rev. Solomon Keal, Bryn Athyn Church School Pastor
May 21, 2019

On Day Two of Creation, God created a firmament or an expanse between the waters below and the waters above (see Genesis 1:6-8). “And God called the firmament (or expanse) Heaven.” (Genesis 1:8) The Writings tell us that this represents the way that the Lord creates “a distinction between the inner and the outer being….The inner self is called the expanse.” (Arcana Coelestia 24) The waters above are the things we know about spiritual and heavenly things, and the waters below are the things we know about bodily and worldly things. At first, these two sets of knowledge in us are combined and make “one dim, confused whole.” (Arcana Coelestia 24) Our awareness of the things that happen in this world, and our conscious choices about how to respond or react to them are merged together so that they practically operate simultaneously. Somebody says something that we don’t like, and we react with an unpremeditated angry response. But gradually the Lord starts to stretch us so that there begins to be a space or an expanse between the things that happen, and our consciously chosen reaction to them. Something happens, and we pause and consider how best to react to it; hopefully guided by the things we know from the Lord (the waters above). This space or expanse that grows inside of us, God calls “Heaven.” The Lord is gently stretching us every day, so that this space or expanse, called “Heaven” inside of us, grows bigger and bigger. The bigger it grows, the more we experience heaven in everything we do.

“Thus says God the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it, and spirit to those who walk on it.” (Isaiah 42:5; see also Arcana Coelestia 25)

“Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and He who formed you from the womb: ‘I am the Lord, who makes all things, who stretches out the heavens all alone, who spreads abroad the earth by Myself.’” (Isaiah 44:24)

“Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, and you waters above the heavens!” (Psalm 148:1-4; see Apocalypse Explained 594:18)

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