Broken

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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.

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3 responses to “Broken”

  1. David says :

    “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” – So Gods design is flawed? Gods design and will is based on human will? It seems like to see creation as some big experiment where God has no clue or control over the outcome. – No I say, God designed it just as he inteded, to see himself glorified through Christ. Even the fall of man was predestined, even designed! To triumph over sin, and most importantly the original sin (which is the basis for all sin) – Satans desire to be god over his own life, rebellion. – the sin that says “I know better”)To say God “never intended” is a scary thing to say…

    • jeffcraw4d says :

      Thanks for the comment and for reading, David. I would disagree with your rebuttal. I don’t think it is a “scary thing to say” at all that God never intended the consequences of man’s free will rebellion against Him. To say that tornadoes and earthquakes and the chaos of nature is the intent of God makes Him the author of much suffering and death and I don’t think any of us want to go there. Chaos is, by definition, the anti-thesis of God’s nature. I think you have mis-used the term “predestined” when referring to the fall of man. It is one thing for God to predestine people to salvation and quite another to say God has predestined human sin. This goes even further than the point on creation and makes God the author of sin as well. And we certainly can’t go there. It is one thing to say God had foreknowledge of human sin and another to say He predestined it.

      Simply put, creation is broken and Jesus will be glorified when he fixes it. This is why we are told to pray that His will should be done on earth even as it is done in heaven. That means the will of God is NOT being done on earth right now. And this was never the intent of God. But God is bigger than our sin and bigger than human will, which is why He truly is able to work all things to good, even when all things are not good.

      Thanks again, David. It’s a good discussion with important distinctions that need to be drawn.

      • David/Jchizzle says :

        Thank you for taking the time to reply Pastor Jeff. I agree its a great discussion. I also enjoy when, in love, we are able to do so such as this case.

        – Perhaps predestined was misused in regards to the fall, I do believe Adam and Eve were the only ones to have true free will.. Foreknowledge I supose is the correct term in their case – Being a Sovereign Grace guy, you probably know where I stand on “after the fall”…

        I still do believe what is safe to say is “Whatever God intends… Happens…” – I also am OK with God being sovereign over tornadoes and tsunami’s. You see chaos of nature, I see God calling his people. So many times throughout scripture God uses natural disasters and wars to bring about suffering, why? So his people would turn back to him or to seek after him. – And this is not God being mean. Gods chief nature is Holiness. Anything he does is directly tied to his holiness, be it hatred and wrath upon sin, Love which was so beautifully displayed on the cross, or the chastisement of those he loves.

        “That means the will of God is NOT being done on earth right now.” – –

        Maybe I misunderstood your meaning behind this statement.. Maybe you mean Gods will in natural disasters? Because the will of God is being done right now. – Jesus and The Great Commission comes to mind right off. He is preparing his Bride The Church through justification and sanctification as we await the coming of our bridegroom. His will is being done right this very second… 🙂

        —Again, Thank you for the reply Pastor Jeff, (I know it takes your time and focus away from your local sheep so I do apologize for any hindrance.) I like really do like your blog.. I read many of your entries and comment sparingly. Even been keeping up with the amazing adoption adventure your family has been going on! – Please continue serving the Lord with all your heart!

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