The Creation Groans
A well-known and internationally-famous naturalist once said that he didn’t believe in God as there is too much cruelty in nature. He has had the opportunity to travel to just about every corner of the world and examine the flora and fauna, and bring them to the television screen for all to enjoy. All through his commentaries he continually expounds how these birds, fish, insects, animals and plants evolved. I am often astounded at the massive diversity in all these groups and wonder how on earth anyone can believe in evolution. The wonders of creation are there for all to see, if only they had willing eyes.
Then I began to think about what he said – that there was too much cruelty in nature for him to accept that there was a kind and loving God in heaven. He had been talking about a parasitoid wasp that laid its eggs in the live body of another creature and that as the larvae hatched they fed off their living host until large enough to survive alone and the host died, after a particularly unpleasant life. Apparently this is quite common in the insect/arachnid world. And there are other examples throughout the animal world. We all know about the cuckoo for example.
Would a loving, merciful and caring God create any creature with such innate cruelty? I had to say no. Then how did this come about?
I believe that for millions of years, bearing in mind that time in God’s universe does not exist as we count it here on earth, Elohim planned, designed and created the universe, and the earth.
All the laws of science, physics, maths and much more were laid down, the moon and the sun, stars, galaxies, put into place. Somewhere along the line while all this was happening Lucifer and one third of the angels rebelled and tried to overthrow Elohim. I guess they saw earth was nearly ready, man would soon be on the scene and their power and prestige was, as they saw it, threatened. This was not a small event. A little more about this later.
During creation week, Elohim used the 7 days to finish off the earth, establish all the necessaries for life to exist, create the animals, and then His crowning glory, man! They finished their labours and created the Sabbath, the 7th day, and surveyed all that they had made and were properly and rightly proud. Everything was beautiful: the earth was complete, food was provided abundantly in the stunning variety and vast array of plants, fruits, vegetables, the human beings were perfect and beautiful, and the animals all dwelt in peace with each other and with Adam and Eve.
Just how long our Father and His Son had to enjoy this idyll is unclear but I would say it was a very brief moment in time. Satan appeared, as they had known he would. That was why they had The Plan in place, they knew that it was all going to have to play out eventually. Maybe they didn’t anticipate it being so soon.....
Adam and Eve turned to sin, turned from God and His way and the rot set in. In an instant, everything was marred.
This must have been a cataclysmic event for Elohim.
First Satan and a third of the angels had rebelled and Evil entered paradise. Man’s fall was even more cataclysmic. We tend to read about the events in the Garden of Eden and move on but it must have been a massive event in the lives of our Father and Saviour, surely? I can imagine that it might have been accompanied by thunder, lightning, the earth would have shaken and earthquakes and volcanoes were suddenly possible. The earth was wounded, broken. Perfection was no more.
The nature of the animals changed. Some became man-eaters, carnivorous, preying on each other and suddenly the humans were also their enemies. Many animals, birds, fish, insects, reptiles, mammals became dangerous. I speculate that even plants were changed. Some produced thorns, some became poisonous, some became parasitical and some even eat flies and many are inedible. The ideal of living in harmony with the animal kingdom, and living on the healthy foods of the earth was shattered. The laws around clean and unclean animals that man could eat and would use in the sacrificial system would have to be established.
The millennial ideal is that the lion and the lamb lie down together; a child shall play with an asp. We all know that and long for that day. It is obvious that there will be a change in animals. They revert back to what they were originally because Evil is banished. Climate and weather will be re-balanced and rain and sun as needed, no more earthquakes and volcanoes, no more dangers in this new Paradise. Maybe vegetarianism will be the order of the day; it seems very possible. Why would man want to prey on animals any more? There will be no sacrifices in the millennium as Christ died once, for all. In the millennium, once order and peace is established, then the Father and Messiah will see the beauty of their creation in action, as they had always envisioned, but perhaps never quite got to see.
I cannot avoid mention of anothercataclysmic event. Christ’s death which was also marked by physical manifestations, earthquakes, graves opening, the temple veil rent in two. Much of course can be said about that and His Sacrifice, but this is not the place. I’ll just add that if Christ had not succeeded in living a perfect life and being resurrected, the consequences would have been beyond dire, utterly catastrophic. The Father would be alone and thus would never get to see His creation functioning perfectly, filled with His family, all in all.
No wonder the creation groans, in anticipation of the restitution of all things!