Monday, September 14, 2015

Decay and redemption

“19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; 20 for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; 23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8:19-25 (NRSV)

This passage of scripture is about hope, and about God’s great purpose for creation. This scripture reveals a bigger picture of God and creation than we may ever be able to fully comprehend.

There are many bad things happening in this world. Actually, the word horrific is a better word for the pain and suffering in our world. This is a very narrow picture of creation and man, but it is often the picture I find myself looking at and relating to. However, the scripture above gives us a bigger picture of creation than the sinful world in which we live.

In verse 19 of the scripture above, Paul states that creation longs for the revealing of the children of God. Simply put, God created for man. The entire universe was set in motion and subjected to futility for the purpose of hope that God gave for man.

There seems to be no logical sense to this. Why would God create such a vast universe only to let it decay and be destroyed by man? Paul says, in verse 22, that creation has always been groaning in labor pains, and verse 20-21 tells us that God created everything in the hope of man’s redemption. God set the universe in bondage to decay so that everything will hope for man’s redemption! What astounding grace! How great must God be to create everything—from distant stars and galaxies to a grain of sand on a beach—for the hope of our redemption.