Creation Groans In Anticipation For The Return Of The King
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Paul gives us some indications of what the creation is experiencing due to the sin of man. It is interesting that creation itself is experiencing an expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For it is only after ALL of the children of God are revealed will Christ come to redeem creation and burn with fire the curse that has been placed upon it. Just as we are baptized with the fire of the Spirit, creation will be baptized with fire when then elements melt away.
Up until now, creation has been frustrated by the curse placed upon it by God:
17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
18It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”
The Earth, and everything upon it, is under the curse. It doesn’t do what it is supposed to do. It is unable to reach its potential. While many say that even the stars are “inanimate objects”, scripture indicates that day after day they pour forth speech. Even the plants are to respond to God.
Bondage to Blight
There is decay in the world. Iron turns to rust. Cement crumbles to dust after centuries. Mold, mildew, and other bacterial agents infect and destroy. Disease strikes everywhere. Prior to the curse, there would have been no “dis-ease”. Even now, we see the effects of decay in everything that is around us. The scientific name is Entropy. Systems in order have a tendency to move towards chaos (not the other way around – that requires an intelligent force redirecting the efforts of the cursed physical material). All of creation is in bondage to decay that the curse has wrought.
Paul indicates that the creation is groaning. That seems odd to us, since we don’t hear it with our ears. But even Jesus said that the creation speaks to us:
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
Even we who are redeemed groan in anticipation of the return of Christ. Facing sin day in and day out is mentally, physically, emotionally, and psychologically draining. Walking in the world with the curse constantly interfering with every aspect of reality – including relationships, business, health, hopes, and dreams, along with the flaming arrows from the enemy, life can be draining and miserable. Those who are “in the thick of it” long for the day when curse of sin is broken, and the glory and righteousness of God is revealed to all of the world, and that which was corrupted is finally redeemed by the one who paid the ultimate price.
A Qualifying Question
Let’s ask a question: Do I long for the return of Jesus?
A short prayer of preparation:
Father in Heaven, Your creation speaks to us. The heavens declare Your glory, and creation reveals your eternal power and divine nature. Help me to draw close to You today, Father. Give me a greater sense of Your power and presence in my life. Reveal to me what You would have me do, and help me to have such a longing in my heart for the return of Jesus that it aches for it. Remember me today and help me to draw close to You. This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.