“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” Romans 8:18-21
In the beginning of Romans 8, Paul starts to summarize conclusions about the process of and effects about the Gospel starting with “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (v1) And then Paul starts writing points of implication: look to each sentence that begins with or has the word “For” in it. As this is done v18-21 pops up and gives a look into the Gospel concerning a direction that isn’t normally thought about…
This scripture reference Romans 8:18-21 has been a consistent meditation with me from my youth. How has Sin affected all of Creation? I marvel at the fact that Jesus became the Atonement for Sin for the whole World. I marvel at the fact that I can accept the Propitiation through faith for myself. I marvel that I am accepted as a son before God. And lastly, I marvel that this was done for someone like me.
But there are some secondary implications that Scripture reveals. Creation awaits “That Day” when Jesus returns and sets Creation aright. Until then, Creation groans. Corruption affects Creation every day. Little by little all of creation degrades, becomes decrepit, spoils. And in all of this Creation hopes for “That Day” when “…in hope that [itself] will be set free from bondage and obtain freedom…” in the Glory of the children of God.
There are times where I sit on the back porch and look at the trees softly swaying back and forth with the breeze; sometimes they are rock still. Nevertheless according to the Scriptures they are groaning, speaking, have a voice. Remember when Jesus said “I tell you, if these folks didn’t offer praise the very rocks would cry out?” (Luke 19:40) The writer of Hebrews refers to a “great cloud of witnesses” (Heb 12:1-2); perhaps I should be aware that Creation itself is a witness to my “walking worthy of the Gospel” (Ro 16:2; Ep 4:1; Phil 1:27) that “I might bear fruit in every good work and increase in the knowledge of God.” (Col 1:10)
Lord God: Early in Romans I am reminded that the whole of Creation bears witness to the Glory of God. It is right and fitting to remember that Creation has a stake in the Gospel. As the Gospel is preached, presented, and exhibited I can imagine that there is a reaction of Hope. CS Lewis imagined this in his writings. It is cool to think about and imagine the Breath of God in every breeze, every sway of branches, that the birds and animals all over the earth depend on You for their daily bread. I should and must remember I am no less dependent on Your daily Grace. Glory to Your Name, O God; May all the earth resound with praise forevermore to Your Goodness and Majesty! AMEN.