A bit about this post. I often write about the beauty and goodness found in nature, but this post speaks of how nature reveals the sinfulness of humankind and our fall from grace. It’s the third of a four-part series of the Biblical themes in Nature (Part one: Biblical themes in Nature and Part two: The Greatness of God). I promise you, if you don’t like this post, you will like the final post on how nature reveals aspects of God’s redemptive grace.
Sinfulness and Death of the Beautiful
The beautiful one danced as it went from flower to flower. Gently floating from one to another, it landed to drink the sweet nectar. As it took off from one last flower, its flight appeared to be stopped by empty air and it began to flutter. Its struggle would quickly end. Dashing along the nearly unseen web appeared the web’s weaver. The orb spider sank its fangs into the once beautiful butterfly ending its ballet. Soon its venom would digest the butterfly giving the arachnid a meal of liquid flesh.
Why does something so beautiful need to end in such an ugly way? Sadly, the butterfly’s death is not alone. Death and cruelty maintain a strong foothold in all of nature. As much as people like to paint a picture of nature as a place of peace and harmony, there is also much death and destruction. Very few animals simply die from old age. Most are either eaten, beat up, starved, slain by some wretched disease or succumb to the elements of hard weather. But God did not intend for it to be this way. Nature clearly reveals that something is broken.
Creation Longs for the End of SinIn Romans 8 the Bible tells us creation anxious longs for the end of sin and the restoration of Christ.
Romans 8:19-21 declares, “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly 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 also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” When Adam and Eve sinned they brought down all of God’s creation. The destruction we see in nature reveals what the Bible tells us: the sinfulness of humankind has infected everything.
All the death and destruction in nature happens because of human sin. Much of this sin acts as God’s judgment upon us (See Genesis chapter 3). Not every sin brings about a particular aspect of
judgment, but the earth in general exists under God’s judgment. Tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes and other so called “acts of God” come as a result of living in a fallen world under God’s judgment. Nature clearly reveals the second major theme of the Bible: the sinfulness of people.
But Praise God, it will not always be this way. Why would we think God would leave His creation in a mess? Our God is a God of restoration. Isaiah 11:6-9 talks about a redemption that will come to all creation. The book of Revelation tells us God will make this earth in to a new earth and all creation will be freed from its “slavery to corruption”.
Nature is under God’s judgment, but He will bring redemption. In my next blog post, we will look at how nature reveals the third biblical theme of God’s redemption.