God of Heaven Come Down?

The worship team at our church has been playing Song of Hope by the Robbie Seay Band lately. I like it. But, as I was belting out the chorus the other morning, the repeated phrase, God of heaven come down, heaven come down prompted me to pose a question to myself.

What exactly do I mean by this request, anyway?

Come down where? The whole omipresence thing means he’s here already, right?

I guess that phrasing could refer to an OT style theophany—God, in human form, paying us a visit in order to have a face-to-face chat. While I’m not opposed to that possibility, I am also certain it is pretty far from the expectation of my heart when I sing that song.

It bothered me that I was saying the words, but didn’t really know what I was asking God to do.

Then I remembered something I’d just read in Exodus.

Exodus 3:8 (NASB)
8 “So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey…

This may well speak of him being present in a different sense than before, but what I noticed is that God uses this language when he’s ready to take action—when he has specifically zeroed his attention in on a people and their situation.

Exodus 2:23, 25 (NASB) 
23…And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God…25 God saw the sons of Israel, and God took notice of them.

This isn’t always a good thing. God also comes down when his attention is drawn to Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:5, 18:20).

Be that as it may, this is a prayer I can definitely get into.

God of Heaven come down.

See our hearts and hear our cries—for our church, and our community. Take notice of us and do something in our midst. Shake us. Make us a powerful force for you. Use us to change our city. Break through the darkness and oppression that is so thick around us. We need you to act.

God of heaven come down. 

Yes, he is always with us, but I think we still need him to come down.

So…talk to me about God’s presence (e.g., omnipresence vs locality in heaven). And what are your thoughts on the concept of God coming down?

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5 thoughts on “God of Heaven Come Down?”

  1. I have no brilliant thoughts, but I have another scripture for you:

    “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,
    so that the mountains would quake at your presence—
    as when fire kindles brushwood
    and the fire causes water to boil—
    to make your name known to your adversaries,
    so that the nations might tremble at your presence!
    When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect,
    you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
    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 64:1-4 NRSV)

    Oh, and one brief thought, I guess: the “omni”s often get in the way of thinking about God in the terms that the Bible talks about God.

  2. Craig – thanks. Great passage! I agree with you about the ‘omnis’: Whether or not they are technically correct, there are so many unscriptural and unhelpful ideas about God attached to them. Plus, we become comfortable memorizing a neat list of omnis rather than wrestling with God’s self-revelation ourselves – and really getting to know him.

  3. Someone gave a sermon on getting a Phd – Pulling Heaven Down, – that comes from the prayer that Jesus said – the Lord’s prayer, Thy Kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. The Kingdom we’re speaking of is the Kingdom of Heaven.

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