“Wrestling With Romans”
All Creation Waits (Chapter 8 Verses 18-27)
The whole of creation, the universe waits (v19), desiring our final deliverance (Joel 1.10-20), and along with us will shout with rejoicing, and celebrate the revelation of our glorification (Psalm 98.4-6; Isaiah 49.13). Now if the creation is so eager for our future glory, should not we be? Ought we not to be living more for that glory? Should we not be, in a Biblical sense, other-worldly? And would not that cure us of much of the worldliness we see in the visible church today? Would it not bring a renewed repentance of the idolatry of which God’s own people are so often guilty of today? The idol of reason that puts mind over God’s revelation, the Bible and the idol of consumerism, must have, must buy, the market values as opposed to God’s value system. What about the idol of false gospels, the therapeutic religion that strokes and pampers the modern self-adulation of a middle-class church, certainly in the West at least (Joshua 24.15)? Would it not bring us back to our senses if we grasped again the reality of living for heaven and the glory God promises us here in these verses?
The reason that creation is waiting is because of the catastrophe in Adam’s day (v20), the fall. Humanity was supposed to rule the domain in which God placed them, it was in subjection to them, but the failure of sin resulted in a failure to accomplish the intended purpose of God in giving this responsibility to us, his creatures. A world full of sinful people, with God’s displeasure revealed against it (Romans 1.18-32), could not possibly accomplish its God-given task in a God-ordained way. That domain is abused at every turn, polluted, violated, drained of its resources. The fruits of that domain are harboured by some at the expense of others. The very ground itself is cursed because of human sin (Genesis 3.17), the animals everything is against us, tearing at us, seeking to hurt and destroy us. The far-reaching results of human sin, but God in his grace has put this into reverse gear, he has begun the restoration program, it will run until every last child of God is revealed, is called and brought safely into the Kingdom. Then the end will come. Then everything will be restored completely, even creation itself. As you look at the brokenness of your surroundings, the ravages of pollution, the abuse of resources, it is a stark reminder to us all of our being fallen creatures, our sin. It is sin that is the ultimate cause of everything bad in our universe. But God will set creation free from its bondage (v21). In Jesus only is freedom, within God’s family (John 8.36).
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1997)