The creation groans in anticipation - 18 July 2019

Ewald Schmidt

“For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”  Romans 8:20-22

The Book of Genesis begins with the wonder of God’s creation. He has created everything to be good, and in harmony. Then God decided to create man as his masterpiece, after his own image, to rule over his creation with wisdom (Genesis 1:26) With man’s rebellion against God, creation also got damaged. The earth would now also produce thorns and thistles and man would earn his food by the sweat of his brow (Genesis 3:18-19).

Mankind is the one species on earth that has the most destructive effect on nature. I see it every time I walk on a beach, and see micro plastic granules washed out all over. I see it in the air pollution when I go to one of our country’s larger metropolitan areas. We are not ruling, and using this earth, in a responsible manner at all. We use more natural resources than we could possibly justify. Our plastic society and our greedy lust for more things are pushing other species to the point of extinction at an alarming rate.

When the Spirit of God renews our minds and leads us on new paths, it should also include our relationship with nature. We are still responsible, in God’s eyes, for how we use this planet, and how we conserve it for future generations. At the moment, creation is groaning in pain under the weight of toxic human behaviour. Things need to change. God is not done with earth yet: we are still here. We still are responsible. I can be part of the solution of making this planet a better place. I can be more aware of my own consumer habits. I can play my part by recycling and by avoiding single-use, non-recyclable materials. I might be in the position to consume less, to live a more frugal lifestyle.

At the end of time, when Jesus returns, God promises a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1). Creation is groaning in anticipation of that day. But until it arrives, let us be a part of God’s solution for a habitable planet, to his glory.

Prayer:  Lord, you have created earth as such a magnificent place for us to live. You have given us everything we need to live a life of contentment and gratitude. But mankind has turned this world into a plastic wasteland. We are exploiting the earth, using much more than our fair share of resources to the detriment of future generations. Forgive us, Lord. Lead us back to a more responsible lifestyle as citizens of this earth. Amen.

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