In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. – Genesis 1:1-2
There was only void. No light. No substance. No pieces to craft together. Then, God spoke, and light burst into the darkness! Out of nothing, God created everything – earth, sky, animals, and sea testified to His magnificent glory! And in His crowning act of creation, God made man and woman in His image and entrusted them with the task of filling, ruling, and cultivating the earth (Genesis 1:28).
This good gift would soon be broken, but God already had a plan of redemption.
Rather than wiping out mankind or letting sin destroy His creation, He would send a Messiah to reverse the curse.
As Isaiah prophesied, a Messiah would come to rule with righteousness and wipe out the wicked (11:4-5). Someday, harmony among creation would be restored – the wolf would dwell with the lamb, the lion with the calf, and little children would dwell safely among the beasts (11:6, 8). Someday, there would be no more harm or destruction (11:9), and the Messiah would bring His people to a glorious resting place (11:10-11).
In this new creation, a river of life will flow from the throne of the One who first spoke waters into existence; and the holy city won’t need a sun, for the glory of God will be its light (Revelation 22:1, 5). All of creation will be made new, a perfect gift that will never be broken. And so, Israel waited for this Redeemer – this one who would restore the earth. And He came at Christmas.
Through creation, we know that God brings order into chaos, light into darkness, and beauty and life where there was once nothing. As God’s image bearers, our work is supposed to reflect His nature.
Though we currently live under the curse, we are still called to be stewards of the earth. The creation mandate to fill, rule, and cultivate the earth might ache because of various “thorns and thistles,” but the labor itself is good. When we work according to our Creator’s original intent, our work will glorify Him, bear testimony of His goodness to others, and help us joyfully anticipate the new creation to come.
Questions to Consider:
- How has God positioned you to bring order into chaos?
- How can you grow as a steward of the earth and treat it as a gift from God?
- Where do you see spiritual darkness around you? Who can you pray for and share the hope of Christ with?
- Do you joyfully look forward to eternity? How should the anticipation of the new heavens and earth transform how you live in this one?
Author’s note: this devotional was first posted in an advent series for my church.