Q. Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions about the Bible. I was wondering if you could help me better understand Romans 8:20 in its context.
A. In Romans 8:19-22 Paul said the Creation was placed in bondage to decay as a result of sin entering into the world. This means the Creation no longer works the way it was originally designed to work.
For example, there are killer storms, earthquakes, floods, droughts, and other “natural disasters” that weren’t part of the original creation but are now common events.
And, if we don’t work to prevent it, weeds, thorns, and thistles will crowd out the fruits and vegetables in our gardens. According to Genesis 3:17-19 that wasn’t part of God’s original plan either but happened because the ground was cursed as a consequence of Adam’s sin.
Sickness and disease have also become part of the human condition since then.
Ever since sin entered the world the creation has been waiting to be freed from this bondage the way the children of God have been freed from their bondage to sin by the Lord’s vicarious atonement. Paul said the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of child birth right up to the present time.
When the Lord returns the curse will finally be lifted and the creation will be brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.