Creation's Groaning -June 1st

By Judy Nichols

June 1, 2015

I have always thought that the birds’ songs and the various animal voices were, if we could understand their languages, expressions of praise to God. After all, Psalm 150, verse six says, "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!" Indeed, the entire creation testifies to the existence and glory of God.

Beautiful as it is, however, the creation is fallen, damaged by the sin of our first forefather. Picking ripe fruit from the trees of the Garden of Eden was corrupted to working the soil under the hot sun and amid the opposition of thorns and thistles, to produce food "by the sweat of your brow."

But one day, when Jesus Christ is revealed in glory and His children receive the long-awaited redemption of their bodies, the creation will also be set free from its corruption, as well. In fact, Paul says in Romans 8:19-20 that the creation waits with eager longing; it hopes for the day it will be redeemed. Then he says, "For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth till now" (v. 22).

In light of that, I have to wonder if the birds’ songs and animals’ voices are also saying, "Set us free!" Does the rustling of the trees signify their impatience with their bondage to futility? Does each wave that rolls up on the shore say, "How long, O Lord?" Do the river currents entreat the Lord, "Will this never end?" Is the wind evidence of creation’s restlessness? Are thunder and lightning its way of venting its frustration? Was the effect of sin really that far reaching?

Whether these musings are correct or not, the answer is a resounding, "Yes." The entrance of sin into the world changed everything negatively in a fundamental way. And so our redemption at the end of the age will again fundamentally change everything – for the better.

And just as we do not know what our resurrection bodies will be like, so we don’t know what creation will be like then, either. For it says the creation will not only be set free from its bondage to corruption but it will also obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God (v. 21). We – and the creation – will not just go back to the way things were before the fall. Everything will be different, changed, better in ways we can never fathom at present. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Cor. 2:9). That is definitely something worth waiting for, and the creation joins us in our hopeful groaning as we wait patiently for our redemption.

© Judy Nichols 2015

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