Tag Archive for Romans 8:19-22

Creation Will Be Redeemed

The creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth until now. (Romans 8:20-22, NASB)

For all the elegant beauty of this natural earth, it is also a violent, tumultuous place where life is always in the grip of death. How can this be, if God rules all creation? How can a good God claim to be sovereign in a world such as this?

Genesis 1:26-28 proclaims two truths about God’s creation of the human race:

  1. He made us in His own image and likeness.
  2. He created us to rule over the earth as His stewards, sharing in His sovereignty.

We are inseparably connected to God our Creator, and we are inseparably connected to this earth, over which we rule. God subjected the earth to us.

When we rebelled against our Creator, we chose to use creation for our own selfish purposes (Genesis 3:1-6). When our relationship with the Creator was corrupted, so was the earth over which we ruled, now as unfaithful stewards (Romans 8:20). As our home and our responsibility, the earth shared in our fractured relationship with the Giver of all life (Genesis 3:17-18; see Psalm 104:27-30). The results were corruption, futility, and death, both for us and for our beautiful home.

Consistently in scripture, our obedience or disobedience to our Creator brings us either God’s blessing or His cursing, respectively. This blessing and cursing are shared by our natural home as well (e.g., Deuteronomy 7:12-15; 8:6-10; 28:4, 18). As Creator God subjected this earth to us, this earth unwillingly shares in the fruit of our rebellion.

We see the turmoil in our natural world and know that as violence, pain, and death shrouds all human life, it shrouds our natural home as well.

But the good news is this: the corruption, futility, and death that rule this earth are only a passing phase. Creation’s present turbulence is only the pain of childbirth (Romans 8:19-22). When we are redeemed and freed from our suffering, our earthly home will be as well (Isaiah 11:6-9; Revelation 21:1). Our destiny, God’s unchangeable promise, is that we and our beautiful home will be perfected to the full glory of God. As it has shared our curse, it will share our blessedness. All the earth will be permeated with His life, His love, His holiness, and His perfect peace.

Right now creation groans with us
under the weight of our sin.
But soon it will share
our glorification,
our freedom from all corruption, and
our full restoration to
God’s blessing and purpose.
Imagine such a world!

Hymn: Creation Will Be Redeemed

Why Natural Disasters?

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Genesis 3:1-19 

If God commands all nature, why are there natural disasters? It seems logical that either God causes natural disasters, or He doesn’t control nature, right?

We can’t always say why God does this or that. His thoughts and ways are far beyond our own (Isaiah 55:8-9). We only know what He tells us:

  1. The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds. (Psalm 145:17, NASB) 
  1. In His sovereignty, God has chosen to give us the privilege and responsibility of making meaningful decisions, within certain broad limits. We decide our actions, then He allows us to experience the results of those decisions.
  1. God appointed us stewards of this world, and sometimes natural disasters are caused by our own greed, neglect, or mismanagement.
  1. In a general sense, all natural disasters are apparently the result of our original decision to disobey God and go our own way. When we corrupted ourselves, we also corrupted the natural world over which God placed us as rulers.

The anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility…in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. (Romans 8:19-22, NASB)

But even though God allows us to suffer the results of our decisions, He is still sovereign, and love is still His pledge. A few verses later in the same chapter Paul assures us:

We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28, NASB)

God’s purposes for His people extend far beyond this world. We can never understand God and His ways if we focus only on this present world and think of physical death as the ultimate end. God’s love and purposes do not stop when this body dies.