Sunday, September 10, 2017

Did We Break Nature?

From hurricanes to wildfires to earthquakes, nature has not been friendly to us these past couple weeks. Between the lives lost and the homes destroyed, I think it fair to say that it's been downright cruel.

Many have been quick to blame these natural disasters on man-made climate change.

"We broke nature!" they cry.

Well, did we break nature?


But we didn't break it over the past 10 years. Or 50 years. Or 1,000 years.

We broke it thousands of years ago, in a garden, when we made a really, really bad decision.

Whenever a massive tragedy strikes, people always ask how a good, all powerful God could allow such a bad thing to happen. Sometimes this is a jab, the point being that either God (or whatever) couldn't possibly be good, couldn't possibly be all powerful, or probably just doesn't exist at all. Other times, this is a legitimate question from seeking minds. They believe there may be a God (or whatever), but there appear to be incongruities. "Surely if God were both all powerful and truly good, he wouldn't allow these kinds of things to happen?"

It's easy to point to something that's obviously a personal decision (a terrorist, for example) and throw out the good ole "It's free will!" card. God is good, but he allows choices, and sometimes those choices are downright evil.

But what about something like the weather?

I mean, let's assume that a hurricane, or a wildfire, or a twister, or an earthquake, or a tsunami, isn't the GOP's fault or China's fault for over-industrialization or whatever. Let's say it's just mother nature having a bad day. What then?

Well, ironically, the Leftist hysteria is still correct. It is man-made climate change. It's still the result of a choice. But you have to go really, really far back.

Back to the beginning.

According to the Bible, God made the world, and he made it good. Nature wasn't initially at odds with humanity. Man and nature were in accord. Everything worked together, like a finely tuned clock. Every piece had a function, and performed that function perfectly without conflict.

But when we made that fateful decision to bite the hand that fed us, betraying the Creator by doing the one thing he told us not to do, we broke the system. Sin entered the world. And that didn't just break us, that broke everything.

It only takes one bad cog to make the clock fall out of time.

To put it another way, daddy God gave us the keys to the family minivan, then we took it out mudding. Now we act surprised that the alignment is off and we can't drive over 25mph without it shuddering like the world is about to end. He knows what we did, so our relationship with him is damaged. And the minivan, of course, is in desperate need of a tuneup.

We broke nature, and it's going to remain broken until God fixes it.

Thankful, God is in the middle of doing exactly that. And he's invited us to be part of it.

Jesus came not only to restore our relationship to God, but to return the world to it's proper order. To extend the analogy, he's both a counselor and a mechanic. This is why we in his earthy ministry we see him not just healing people, but walking on the water, calming storms, and turning water into wine. These miracles are not just parlor tricks meant to wow crowds, but significant theological statements meant to demonstrate his power over the natural order and give a taste of the kingdom that is to come.

A day will come when all storms are stilled. That's the big idea.

Jesus invites us to take part of his coming kingdom, which is ultimately the fixing of our broken system. And the work he began 2,000 years ago will see final completion upon his return.

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