This entire series of blog posts is indebted to Rob Bell, although I didn’t realize to what extent until today. I was thinking about a post on our calling to create (which will be coming in the next week) and remembered a quote, from a sermon a few years back, that has been etched in my heart ever since. After searching, for quite some time, I thought I had found it. I listened to the sermon series, a teaching about the Earth’s renewal, and found out my quote was nowhere to be found. It wasn’t wasted time though. I found something else. I found the enthusiastic and hopeful look at the coming Earth 2.0 that I have been writing about. I found my inspiration for this series.
Rob’s views, on what the new Earth may have in store and what our roles will be there, are breathtaking. But believe me, you can’t pin this excitement down to just one sermon, because his vision is scattered throughout them all. I wanted to attribute my desire to write about this topic to Rob, since after listening today I realized just how deeply embedded his hope in the new creation is set in my heart. So, it was a different quote, one I heard today, that stirred me to write this post. The quote was this …
“The new Earth is God’s way of saying, it’s still good!”
This place we live in was good when God created it in Genesis, it is still good today, and it will be good when God comes to renew it. What God has created for us here is priceless, timeless, and everywhere we turn. I think we lose site of this fact, because taking it for granted is just too easy. I imagine that God’s creation will be an eternal place of enjoyment for us in the renewed Earth, and so as the theme of the series goes … that means it is worthy of our attention now.
What does God say about His ability to create? What reaction does it arouse in Him? There is no better place to look for this answer than in Job 38 … “And the LORD speaks … “
It is in this chapter we get to glimpse, in amazement, into God’s description of His own creation. Well, His description, along with a reminder of our finite ability to grasp it. There is no way to summarize this chapter without losing it’s surprising and sometimes sarcastic tone … but some of my favorite parts are those reminders, posed as questions, of just how endless creation is and just how unaware of it we are.
The dumb ostrich who can run like the best of them, the mountain goats giving birth, the moving of the constellations, the depths of the ocean, the ends of the universe, the placement of the lightening and the winds, the power of the horse, and the protection over the lions. It goes on for pages.
When I read these words I think I can take away from them three ideas: 1) God’s creation was good then and it is now, 2) If the Creator takes pleasure in creation, so should we and 3) Creation deserves our respect, our attention, and our care.
God uses colorful words to describe His creation, to remind us of details we so often miss, and to instill confidence that He takes joy in this creation … that it is still good! The renewed Earth will be brighter, will be more colorful, and will be erased of the death that taints it now – but it will still be God’s good creation. If we want to start living today, in order to prepare for renewal, we must take time to appreciate His creation. We must take care of the Earth, because He has entrusted it to us. We will not go live somewhere else … we will be here, forever. It is our job to treat the world, the people in it, and all of creation as though we are seeing it through God’s eyes … as if it is still good!