Affects Of The Fall On Creation: Romans 8:18-25
“18)For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19) For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20) For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21) 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. 22) For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23) And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24) For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25) But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.” Romans‬ ‭8:18-25‬
The fall of man had a disastrous affect on the realm of nature. The very workers that God created to care for and cultivate the realm of living things, turned against it with greed, exploitation and destruction.
But that is only a small part of the story. The ground also started producing thorns and thistles. (Genesis 3:17-18) The fall also most likely ushered in harmful germs, bacteria and viruses. At some point the diet switched from plant based (Genesis 1:29-30) to include animal flesh and all species were turned against each other. What was created as a harmonious environment became vicious and deathly competitive.
I would go so far as to speculate that prior to the fall, there was no death. Everything was peaceful and synchronized. But after the fall, blood began to flow like a river throughout the realm of nature. Even weather patterns turned destructive and natural disasters became common place.. The created realm came under the curse and moved into turmoil. It is with us to this day.
This seems to be what Paul is describing in Romans 8:18-25. Under the current state of nature, there is sufferings and groaning. But notice that Paul points to a spill over affect of human redemption to include the entire created realm. Verses 20-21 point out that creation was subjected to futility, but it will be set free from its slavery to corruption when the sons of God are glorified.
Isaiah 11:6-10 speaks of this time. The picture it paints is unimaginable to our current mindset and experience. Let me quote just a few of the verses. “6) And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them. 7) Also the cow and the bear will graze, Their young will lie down together, And the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8) The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.” Isaiah‬ ‭11:6-8‬
I believe this will be fulfilled when Jesus returns to set up His millennial kingdom on earth. (See Revelation 20:1-6) Creation recognizes the Creator. When He was on earth, Jesus was able to speak peace into the raging sea and violent storms (Mark 4:39-41), and reported that even the rocks could cry out in praise and recognition of Him. (Luke 19:40)
The present sufferings, pain and chaos in Creation is the result of the reign of the god of this world. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4) He comes only to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10) He wants to defile, destroy, make desolate and corrupt everything that God created as a reflection of His glory. Lost and rebellious humanity ignorantly participated in this tragic demise.
However, in Romans 8:18-25, Paul has a message for Satan; the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross has the power to not only redeem lost humanity, it will also return Creation to its intended glory. Creation is eagerly awaiting the return of its Creator. Amazing times are coming!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global