I am teaching through the Book of Revelation on Sunday mornings right now with a group around 100 people at Cross Church. It is an amazing study. This past Sunday we were in chapter 5 and as part of the overall theme of the entrance of Jesus into the throne room of heaven, we see creation itself breaking out into worship (Rev. 5:13). We spent a few minutes here last week because this is not what we generally think about when we think of worship. Most often we think of ourselves…people. Worship is a human activity, correct? Yes, and no. When Jesus moves at the end of time and the beginning of eternity, creation itself will praise God. Isaiah 55:12 affirms this future day when it declares that the “hills will break into singing before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”
The worship of creation for the Creator illustrates a powerful truth that is missed by most: This world is completely and utterly broken. Broken by the sin and rebellion of man.
When we think of sin we tend to think only of the immediate and personal consequences of our actions. If I lie to my wife, I might risk her anger and broken trust if she catches me. But I can probably make it up with a bundle of flowers and a heart felt, “I’m sorry,” or an “I didn’t mean to,” or an even better, “I’m just stupid for doing that.” But the Bible informs us that something much more long lasting and destructive happens with every human sin – the fabric of creation itself is rent even further. When Adam and Eve committed the first act of sin not only did they crack the intimacy of their relationship, they cracked creation itself.
Because of sin, this world and everything in it is utterly and completely broken. God never intended for tornadoes to ravage cities like Moore, Oklahoma . It was never in His design for a tsunami to wipe the coast of Japan clean. When the earth groans under the brokenness of human sin, the crust literally bends and shakes as buildings crumble and the landscape is re-shaped. But it was never supposed to be like this. God’s plan was for Eden, a paradise on earth. A place where the lion lies down with the lamb. After teaching on the brokenness of creation on Sunday, I listened on Monday to the podcast of Rick Warren’s first sermon back in the pulpit after the death of his son, Matthew. As Rick preached and addressed all that his family has been going through and what they were doing to get through, it caught my full attention as he too spoke of the brokenness of creation as a result of sin.
Additionally, because of sin, our bodies are broken. Cancer, ALS, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, bi-polar disorder, the need for glasses, etc. ALL of it is the result of sin. We are broken. Whenever we say that we are okay and that everything is fine, it is mere wishful thinking. Our lives are spent, to a large extent, just trying to survive. To make it through. To avoid some disaster that is lurking just around the corner to seize us. Example: Isn’t this why we wear seatbelts? Satan really is like a lion stalking and seeking those whom he may devour.
Within the last six months I watched my mother go from healthy, to intense suffering, to death. Why? Why did she have to go through such an illness? The fault lies not in God (who for some reason seems to get all the blame when it comes to these kind of things) but in sin. And so, dear reader, whatever it is that afflicts you today, that is pursuing you today, dogging your every step, it is all a product of sin.
Enter Jesus. What sin has broken, he puts back together. The healing has already started. This world is a war zone of broken lives and a broken creation. Jesus has invaded enemy territory in order to take it back. Revelation 5 is the beginning of the final campaign. The end is near. A new beginning is about to dawn. And THAT is reason not only for creation to worship but for us as well.