If creation is so great, then why are things falling apart? Why forest fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and typhoons? The magnitude of destruction doesn’t seem to reflect God’s divine attributes like goodness and love, therefore some assume that God either doesn’t care about humanity or is powerless to prevent catastrophes.
Unless we consider that God created mankind in His own image with a free will and the power to make decisions … and then allowed the consequences of our choices to occur.
God created a paradise and placed mankind in the middle of it with instructions to rule over it while enjoying all that creation had to offer including a multitude of seed-bearing plants. There was one stipulation — don’t eat from one particular tree. What did the first humans do? Tempted to think they knew better than the Creator, they ate.
The consequences of their choice? They were kicked out of the garden and the very ground was cursed because of them. It would produce thorns and thistles and mankind would have to work hard to get food from the fields. (See Genesis 3:17-19)
Fast forward multiple generations to Noah. By now mankind thought only of wickedness and God considered wiping the slate completely clean by destroying mankind, animals, and birds. (See Genesis 6:6-7) But then He saw Noah’s heart and had him build an ark to rescue two of every kind of bird, animal, and creature along with Noah’s family. Creation paid the price for man’s choices as it rained for 40 days and nights with a flood that covered the earth for 150 days, destroyed most living things, and changed the landscape forever.
What about the rest of history leading up to today? Have mankind’s choices affected creation? What about destroyed rainforests? Landscapes decimated by war or atomic explosions? Acid rain from pollution? Holes in the ozone layer and debates over global warming and the resulting shifts in climate patterns? Endangered and extinct species?
Creation was placed under the rule of mankind and suffers the natural consequences of our choices. The good news is that creation knows a change will be coming. As Paul wrote to the church in Rome,” For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” (Romans 8:19-22 NIV)
Because while this world is falling apart and groaning, God has revealed that there will be a new heaven and a new earth for His people. A new paradise with a tree of life and “no longer will there be any curse” (Revelation 22:3 NIV) We may be experiencing the natural consequences of our collective decisions, but there is coming a day of restoration.
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20 NIV)
Creation declares that God allows us to face the natural consequences of our decisions.
What about you? When you experience or hear about a natural disaster, do you blame God? Why or why not?