Most people I have met think Heaven is up. The word most commonly translated as Heaven is the word “Shamayim.” It comes from the root shama which means “high” or “lofty.” So I guess the idea of of Heaven’s up-ness makes sense.
As we start in, though, I do want to note that “shamayim” is used by God to describe several different kinds of heaven: It is used to speak of His creation of the skies where the birds fly (Ge. 1:20); And to define the void of space where the stars and planets move (Ge. 1:14); But the use of the word we are most interested in here is shamayi h’shamayim or the Heaven of heavens. This is the place where God dwells (Deut. 10:14).
“Look, the highest heavens (shamayi h’shamayim)and the earth and everything in it all belong to the LORD your God.” Deut. 10:14 NLT
The first thing I notice about Heaven in this verse is not its location. My eye is drawn to the fact that it belongs to God. He is its King and in that place He calls the shots. You won’t find a voting booth there.
To those of us living in democratic societies the idea of one king in perpetuity seems rather despotic. Truth be told, when humans have tried that here on fallen Earth, the “one guy total rule thing” has not worked well at all. Neither has any other form of government for that matter. Good kings…effective kings are historically in short supply. For every King David there are twenty King Sauls.
But in Heaven God is King. In that place His government is effective and just! Imagine a government that runs perfectly! Now that’s “up-ness” by any definition.
What do you think living under the government of Heaven will be like?