When The Heavens Are Closed – What To Do, Haggai 1:9-11  By Dr. Biodun Sotunmbi

The Bible sometimes refers to heaven as heavens, Gen. 2:1, 4. Any difference

between the two? On its face value they are one and the same entity. However a closer

look indicates that heavens refers to the heavenly bodies, I Chro. 16:26 while heaven

is the seat of God, Luke 10:18, all of which were created by the Most High Himself,

Ps. 115:16.

So where then is heaven/heavens? They are located above the earth, Rom. 10:6. While

God created humans here on earth He made the angels in heaven, including Lucifer,

one of the three arkangels, Gabriel and Michael. Lucifer was the one who turned

himself into satan, the rebel God drove out of heaven, Ezek 28:14-19, Rev. 12:7-12.

For the purpose of this discussion one can explain the heavens/heaven in at least three


First there is the Atmospheric Sphere from where the earth receives its sustenance. It

is the place from which rain and dew descend providing water for vegetation for man

and animal. It is also the source of thunder, lightning and hail. When the heavens are

open there is abundance of water, the natural source of life Deut. 28:12. When they

are closed there is drought and men suffer, I Kings 17:1, 7. God can also use thunder

and lightning and hail to destroy, Ex. 9:22-25. In which case God can use rains to

favour His people when they live in obedience, Lev. 26:4 & 5. But those who are

opposed to Him and His tenets He visits with unprecedented destruction using fire and

brimstone as His agents, Gen. 19:24 & 25; Lk. 17:29. While He remains habitually

merciful, providing for both the just and unjust, Matt. 6:45, no one should take Him

for granted – He can withhold the benefits of Heaven from compulsive sinners, Amos


So the first or Atmospheric Heaven can be, for man, a source of blessing or anguish.

Everyone is allowed to make his choice, Joshua 24:15.

The second heaven is the Celestial Sphere. It is the dormain of the sun, moon and

stars. They provide illumination – the sun, during the day, and the moon and the stars

during the night. Without them man would exist, if he does at all, in total darkness.

Besides, trees, herbs and animals, on which humans depend for food, would die.

Clearly God did not create the heavenly bodies for sight-seeing. They are for the

benefit of human communities. And when man abandons or ignores God He can use

one or the other of these heavenly bodies to favour His own and disfavour His

adversary Josh. 10:6-14, Isaiah 38:4-8.

The Third Heaven, is the seat of God, His power-center, the place from which His

mercy and judgment flow down to the earth, 2Cor. 12:2. A sub-sphere of the Third

Heaven is Paradise, the place of rest for the faithful, Lk. 16:19-31, Lk. 23:42-43.

Although heaven is the seat of God His spirit is everywhere- with us, in us and around

us, which may be illustrated by the prophet’s revelation in Isaiah 66:1.

The intention of God is to keep heaven open so that His children can prosper, Jer.

11:2, physically, materially, mentally and spiritually, 3 John 2. God is holy and He

wants believers to be like Him, Lev. 19:11, Matt. 5:48. God is merciful and gracious

but He is also the God of judgment, Jer 9:23 & 24. When you observe the rules He

relates to you with love and care as He did to David before He fell into sin. But when

David committed adultery and murder He drove him out of His presence, 2 Sam. 12:7-


God hates sin, which is why He closes the heavens against compulsive sinners, John

9:31 but when they repent He welcomes them back with open arms, and sometimes,

He even rolls out the drums, Luke 15:17-24. But do not ever take Him for granted.

David’s wife, Michal, made jest of her husband – King, David, when he celebrated

God in the open without observing tradition. But no one ever makes fun of God and

gets away with it – Michael became barren for life, 2 Sam. 6:14-23.

When the heavens are closed on you, your community or nation and you still have a

chance to do something about it, a chance king Herod never had nor deserved Acts

12:20-23, abandon the habits which led you into the situation in which you find

yourself, pray to God for forgiveness as the king and people of Nineveh did, and God

would visit you with His mercy, Jonah 3:4-10.

But there are challenges faced by a child of God, which may suggest to the

uninformed that the Heavens over him are closed when that may not be the case. A

precipitous decline in business, troubles in marriage, loss of a well-paying job,

prolonged ill-heath…any or a combination of these might not necessarily be an

indication that God is angry with His beloved.

As the Apostle Paul has said, these and many more problems are common to man but

God would provide a way out for His own, I Cor. 10:13. Sometimes satan is the

culprit but, not without God’s knowledge and limited approval, as in the case of Job,

Job 1:8-12. It is a trial of your faith and you will triumph in the end if you remain

steadfast in your loyalty to Him, Job 42:7-12.

He would never forsake nor abandon you. He who honours those who may not even

know Him, and uses them for His own glory, would not turn His back against you

without a cause, Isaiah 45:1-4.