Psalm 96

Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary.

Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.

Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.” The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy; they will sing before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his truth.

There are many humans alive today who will mourn when they witness the Lord’s return, because they’ll be forced to admit that it’s too late for them. Having ignored all the opportunities they were given to learn the truth, they’ll find themselves on the wrong side of the religion debate at the final bell.

Not so the creation. There’s no rebellious spirit there. The psalm above is one of several places in the Bible that describe the creation actually bursting forth in song at the Lord’s return. The creation was subjected to bondage at the fall of man, and as Paul wrote in Romans 8:19-22 has been groaning as in the pain of childbirth right up to the present time, waiting in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. Because that’s when everything gets made right again.

Think about it. Storms and earthquakes are getting more frequent and more intense with each passing year. Do you think God created the earth this way? Can what you know about the character of God be reconciled with these events? Why couldn’t He have given us predictable weather with a constant supply of peaceful sunny days?

Well, He did. It never rained on Earth before the flood. There were no storms. Animals frozen in the tundra with undigested tropical vegetation in their stomachs give evidence of a world wide tropical climate in the past. It suggests that the Earth once stood vertical on its axis instead of the 23.5 degree tilt we now have. It’s that tilt that causes seasons and makes some parts of the world too hot while others are too cold.

And consider our calendar. Couldn’t the same God who created the intricate mechanism of your eye, for example, have placed the Earth in an orbit around the Sun that didn’t require a periodic adjustment of the calendar? Ours is approximately 365.25 days and requires the addition of an extra day every four years except for the years that begin a new century. Couldn’t God have made everything come out even?

Well, He did. Originally the Earth had a 360 day orbit with 12 months of 30 days each. Everything worked out perfectly, as you would expect of God. And then something happened that added 5 ¼ days to our orbit and threw all the calendars of Earth out of kilter.

I could go on with this and talk about the coming magnetic polar reversal, or the equatorial bulge, or other things that point to a less than perfect creation. But I think you get the point that something happened to the creation, something that marred its perfection and made it less hospitable to man than was intended. And that something is sin.

When sin entered the world everything changed, and all of it for the worse. Some of the changes were immediate, like the introduction of thorns and thistles, sickness and death. Some were progressive, like the shortening of man’s life span from nearly 1,000 years before the flood to our current 70-80 years. Some were cataclysmic, like the separation of land into the continents, and some were subtle, like the removal of the water vapor canopy that once protected the inhabitants of Earth from harmful cosmic rays.

Sin changed Planet Earth from an absolutely ideal, utopian environment for man to dwell in, where everything and everyone existed in perfect harmony with the will of God, into a writhing, groaning weed and disease infested place that periodically unleashes its frustration in an outpouring of devastation and destruction.

One day soon, that’s all going to change, as God begins putting things back the way they were in preparation for His Kingdom. Listen as John explains it.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Rev. 21:1-5)

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. (Isaiah 55:12) And with your own eyes you’ll see the wonder of God’s creation, finally freed from bondage, looking just the way it did when God first gave it to Adam. Perfect. Like Job said, “How my heart yearns within me!”

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