“Heaven, heaven, so much talk about heaven
Heaven, heaven, so much talk about heaven
Heaven, heaven, I love to talk about heaven
And one of these days, I’m going there”
“Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.”
– Psalm 73:25-26
A few years ago my family attended a Gospel Sing in Southern Missouri. That night the Chuck Wagon Gang sang, and as I listened to Dave Emery speak about their songs, he shared a little something that happened one time at a previous concert. He said a gentlemen came up to him and said, “Ya’ know, every song ya’ll sang tonight was about heaven.”
I think Believers love to talk (and sing) about heaven because it’s a place where everything is perfect. When a loved one passes on, we are comforted to know that they are in a safe place where we will see them again. There won’t be a corrupt government in heaven, people will be “nice” and if we’re honest, who wouldn’t want to lay out in the grass by the River of Life, watch angels fly around and talk to Paul or one of the other Biblical patriarchs?
Interestingly enough, when you look in the Word of God, when the Lord was on earth, He didn’t talk about heaven that much. Actually, He talked about Hell more! – He talked about the condition of men’s souls, and went out of His way to fix problems in others lives.
I have to stop and wonder about that. The most beautiful places in this world can’t compare to the beauty above. Not the Taj Mahal, the Forbidden City, rolling dales of Ireland or the crystal seas of the Caribbean. Nope, the golden streets and pearly gates have ’em beat – hands down. So, why would our Lord, who lives in such a grand place, not speak about it just a little bit more than He did?
Maybe that’s because what makes heaven beautiful isn’t the scenery…just maybe it isn’t about the absence of trials in our lives…or knowing that our loved ones are over there, alive and well, though, that knowledge is precious. Though all those things are wonderful things and for us to enjoy, I’ve learned through this verse in Psalms that they aren’t what heaven is about, and they aren’t the reason why we are going there. The only reason we’re going to heaven is because Christ Jesus left that splendor to shed His precious blood in atonement for our sin. If not for Him, heaven wouldn’t even be an option for us. (*gulp*) The golden streets didn’t leave heaven to save us, nor the mansions or the pearly gates. Not one physical object in heaven could do what He did. Not even the angels or the saints that have gone before could do it.
Ya know what that tells me? – it tells me that heaven is about the Lord Jesus Christ. It tells me that if heaven didn’t have streets of gold, cloudless blue skies, pearly gates, and mansions – if there were not one single person in heaven but our Savior, it would still be heaven. That’s something to think about, isn’t it?! Yet, that’s what the writer (Aspah) of this hymn is saying, “Whom have I in heaven but Thee?” That means: there is nothing in eternity competing for Asaph’s attention, because the Lord of Glory was his one and only focus. I don’t know about you, but I can learn something from that!
Paul says in Colossians 3:1-2, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” I’m pretty sure Paul didn’t write that because heaven is a nice place to think about. I think he penned those words because in heaven is a treasure worth more than gold, silver, or pearls…and that treasure is Christ Jesus.
My point is this: every time I go to a concert I hear songs about heaven, and sometimes (not all the time!) – but sometimes, the message of those songs are about things like; mansions, golden streets and pearly gates, and though there is nothing wrong with that, it’s good to be reminded of what heaven is really about every now and then. 🙂