January 31, 2018
READ: Romans 8:18-25
The creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay (v.21).
Finlandia, composed in 1899, possessed the original title Finland Awakes. Sibelius’ brilliant masterpiece was part of the cultural resistance of Finland’s aggressive neighbour to the east. The symphonic poem begins ominously as brass and percussion swell to a raucous din. But sixty seconds into the clamour, the music softens to an elegant, peaceful beauty—harbinger of a better future for the nation. Finland would indeed awaken.
There are portions of the Bible that seem ominous too. They tell the unvarnished truth of our unhappy human history. But throughout the grand story of Scripture, we hear the unmistakable, hope-filled tones of redemption.
At the beginning of human history, an aggressive invader sought to sabotage God’s masterpiece. Coming to Eve in the garden of Eden, the serpent put doubts in her mind about God’s goodness and trustworthiness. Adam and Eve took the bait (see Genesis 3:1-7), and God announced a curse on His good creation: “The ground is cursed because of you” (v.17).
The devil thought he’d succeeded in rewriting God’s story with a chaotic ending. But God was already orchestrating a plot twist our enemy hadn’t dreamed of. The apostle Paul wrote, “God . . . sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins” (Romans 8:3). He added, “Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay” (vv.20-21).
Jesus makes our glorious future possible. Because of Him, all creation awakes.
365-day plan: Exodus 1:8–2:10
Read Genesis 3:21 to see how God compassionately cared for Adam and Eve even after they’d disobeyed Him.
It’s not hard to find pictures of redemption in our world. What ones can you list? How has God awakened your heart to His reality?