“On what were (the earths) footings set, or who laid its cornerstone— while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” -Job 38:6-7
My family and I live in Colorado surrounded by the beauty of the mountains. Before that, we lived about ten minutes from the shore, in New Jersey. Growing up, I lived in the rolling green hills and farmlands of Pennsylvania. I have also traveled around different parts of not only the United States, but different countries of the world. This world is a beautiful and breath-taking place!
But there is another reality, especially the closer you get and deeper you look. Hurricanes and tornado’s wreck havoc. Fires ravage forests and wild-life. Wars and bombs destroy and ravish cities, countrysides and even entire countries. And this says nothing about the toll these things and more take on human lives. Though the beauty of creation still remains, it has also been cursed. Although the glory of humanity can be seen in different situations, a darkness, sorrow and suffering, darken and diminish it.
The apostle Paul put it like this in Romans 8:20-25: For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Creation has lost some of it’s song, vitality and joy. Unsaved humanity has also lost it’s song and joy.
There is a narrative and arch in Scripture. God created and world and said “it is good.” (Genesis 1). Man enjoyed paradise and unbroken fellowship with God (Genesis 2). But then man sinned and creation was cursed (Genesis 3). Pain and suffering entered the world because of sin, because of broken relationship with God. But then God, out of love, sent His Son, to redeem the world (John 3:16). Jesus came to restore that broken fellowship with God. He came to save that which had been lost. And one day He will return and there will be a resurrection, just as after he suffered for our sin, he rose from the dead. He will also lift the curse from this fallen world. He will make all things new. He will create a new heavens and a new earth. He will restore the song! (Revelation 21-22).
Did you know in fact that creation sings? The Psalms again and again even “personify” creation and speak of it singing: The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing (Psalm 65:13). The angels themselves rejoiced and went wild with jubilation when God created the world (see the verse that this post began with).
And we were born to sing! We were created to worship God. We were made out of the song and melody in the heart of God. Our lives were to be a song unto Him. But that song has been lost or diminished because of sin, suffering and sorrow. The earth groans and we groan. We are broken and the earth is decaying. The world lies in darkness and the music has been snuffed out in many parts of the world.
The mission of Jesus in this world, and for those He has now redeemed, is to restore that song. Jesus is all about restoration! He has come that we might have life and life more fully (John 10:10). He has come to destroy the work of the evil one and rebuild that which has been torn down. He has come to restore the melody, to put a new song in our hearts again (Psalm 40:3, Psalm 96:1, Psalm 98:1).
And now He calls you and I to go into all the world on His behalf (Matthew 28:18-20). He calls us to be His ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal to be reconciled to Him through us! (2 Corinthians 5:20). He sends us out to be witnesses to a fallen, broken, bound, beat-up, sinful world of His saving power and redeeming grace (Acts 1:8). He calls us to go forth into this suffering world, just as He entered into our suffering and took our sorrow upon Himself for our salvation. He calls us to be co-labors with him, in this wonderful work of restoring the song originally intended and now made possible to be redeemed, through His sacrificial death upon the cross and glorious resurrection power.
We are not to keep a distance from suffering, but enter into the suffering of others, as He did on our behalf. We are not to ignore the pain and brokenness of others, but with compassion in our hearts, reach out with the promise of God’s power to bring beauty from ashes. We are called to restore the song of salvation in all the world, for all people! We are called to set the oppressed free, to break the chains of injustice, to bring healing to the hurting and hope to the hopeless (Isaiah 58). We are to let our light shine (Matthew 5:16), do good to all people (Galatians 6:10), and proclaim the Good News to every creature in all creation (Mark 16:15).
What does this specifically look like for you? For your church? How does God want to use you? What song has He put in your heart that He wants to play through you that will breath and bring life into the hearts and lives of others? (read more about this from my prior article: A Melody From Heaven).
God has called us to good works, which He has prepared in advance for us (Ephesians 2:8-10). He has saved us to serve. He has put a new song in our hearts that we might sing and speak of His grace so that others might be saved. He has special and unique ways He wants to use each of us as we seek Him for His will for our lives. He is calling us to restore the song of salvation throughout all the world!
In the new “Wonder Woman” movie, Diana actually got it right. May this also be our conclusion and resolve during our brief time in this beautiful but broken world: “I used to want to save the world. To end war and bring peace to mankind. But then, I glimpsed the darkness that lives within their light. I learned that inside every one of them, there will always be both. The choice each must make for themselves – something no hero will ever defeat. I’ve touched the darkness that lives in between the light. Seen the worst of this world, and the best. Seen the terrible things men do to each other in the name of hatred, and the lengths they’ll go to for love. Now I know. Only love can save this world. So I stay. I fight, and I give…for the world I know can be. This is my mission, now. Forever.”