“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” (Romans 8:22)
Sometimes we don’t get to see the results of our work or choices soon enough to suit us. But on one occasion, a man’s choice and resulting action were given immediate attention, and the effects of that attention even now rule the universe.
“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat” (Genesis 3:6).
The result of Adam’s deliberate sin—“Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Timothy 2:14)—was immediate and total punishment upon Adam and Eve, and through them on all humanity (Genesis 3:14-19). “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). “For the creature [or ‘creation’] was made subject to vanity [that is, ‘futility’], not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope” (8:20).
This “bondage of corruption” (v. 21) placed upon the entire creation, now known to science as the Second Law of Thermodynamics, is known to all of us as the basic tendency of life. Everything is in the process of death and decay. This law will one day be removed; but until then, we, like the groaning, travailing creation of our text, “groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (v. 23).
Although we recognize now that “the wages of sin is death,” we can be very thankful that the story doesn’t end there, for “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). JDM