Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sin's poison is visible in the world

In these waning days of the Age, do you think about the Garden of Eden? What untainted creation must have looked like? I do. The only mirror I have of earth as originally intended is in Genesis 1, and there, the LORD called it "good." The reverse of that is earth in today's condition. And today it looks pretty bad. (image source)

Consider these headlines:
Food Poison Journal National Steak and Poultry E coli Outbreak
"The outbreak linked to National Steak and Poultry, an Oklahoma-based purveyor of pre-portioned beef products, has sickened people in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, South Dakota, and Washington. I haven't yet seen reference to how many are thought to have been sickened in the outbreak, but a listing of six states stretching from the eastern time zone all the way to the west coast portends some bad news on that front."

Our food is increasingly poison to our bodies.

List of polluted NC waters is floated
"A list of so-called impaired waterways in the state is available and the state is seeking public comment. The N.C. Division of Water Quality released a revised draft 2008 list as it is required to do every two years. Listed are the streams, rivers and other bodies of water that fail to meet water-quality standards or can't support uses such as aquatic life, recreation, fish consumption, shellfish harvesting or water supply."

Waters cannot be drunk nor support life.

First Case of Highly Resistant TB Seen in U.S.
"Doctors say Juarez's incessant hack was a sign of what they have both dreaded and expected for years — this country's first case of a contagious, aggressive, especially drug-resistant form of tuberculosis. The Associated Press learned of his case, which until now has not been made public, as part of a six-month look at the soaring global challenge of drug resistance."

Our formerly perfect bodies are rejecting even the good drugs that used to aid us in fighting disease.

Woman in NH contracts anthrax, possibly from African drums
"According to the CDC, "The intestinal disease form of anthrax may follow the consumption of contaminated meat and is characterized by an acute inflammation of the intestinal tract. Initial signs include nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, fever are followed by abdominal pain, vomiting of blood, and severe diarrhea. Intestinal anthrax results in death in 25% to 60% of cases."

Dread plagues from afar are striking close at home.

Bubonic plague found in Bakersfield, CA cat
"According to Matt Constantine, Director of Public Health “Plague is still very much present in our county, although we may want to believe that it is an obsolete disease of the past,”

Medieval infectious scourges are revealed to have not only re-emerged, but not to have gone away at all.

1 in 100 kids have autism
"Two new government studies indicate about 1 in 100 children have autism disorders – higher than a previous U.S. estimate of 1 in 150. The new estimate would mean about 673,000 American children have autism."

"There is no known single cause for autism, but it is generally accepted that it is caused by abnormalities in brain structure or function. Brain scans show differences in the shape and structure of the brain in children with autism versus neuro-typical children. Researchers are investigating a number of theories, including the link between heredity, genetics and medical problems."

Our very brains are mutating.

How far and deep has the effect of sin permeated our waters, our land, our food, and our very bodies and brains? Everything seems as poison now. Creation itself is laboring under the poisonous effects of a sinful world. "For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now." (Romans 8:20-22)

"[T]herefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, "behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood and give them poisoned water to drink." (Jer 9:15) Matthew Henry writes of that verse, "Every thing about them, till it comes to their very meat and drink, shall be a terror and torment to them. God will curse their blessings." Malachi 2:2 is that reminder of His promise to curse even the blessings of food and water. 

I am not referring to the curse of oil spills or overflowing landfills or garbage scows nor greenhouse effects. I am talking the tide of sin-pollution and its impact on a falling world. "Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets, 'Behold, I am going to feed them wormwood And make them drink poisonous water, For from the prophets of Jerusalem pollution has gone forth into all the land.'" (Jer 23:15). If we insist on wallowing in sin, then the Lord obliges by sending its visible manifestation to us and causes us to eat and drink of it.

Worse, "Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it." (Malachi 2:4). Does the dung promise to mean that if we speak refuse, live in refuse, offer Him refuse, that we will eat refuse? That just as we punish a puppy who messes in the house with rubbing his face in it, God will do the same? Well, want a steak? Have some e coli.

How we have allowed sin's effects to creep like a tide of polluted water to poison the world. How often we see the bitter herb 'wormwood' used in the bible as a visible materialization of our sin. And so it will be again: "The name of the star is called Wormwood, and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter." (Revelation 8:11)

Sin is a terminal condition. Do not underestimate how seriously God takes refusal to turn away from sin!! Do not underestimate your own sin! Do not think you will escape! The only remedy is the blessed Hope, His forgiveness, made possible because of His sacrifice of blood on the cross. If you feel burdened with guilt for your misdeeds, and believe Jesus died and rose again for your sin, then ask him with sincere heart to forgive you. Believe on His name. Only the forgiven of sin can dwell with the Most High and Holy. Those with sin in them will be given over to the poison that it truly is, now made increasingly visible and manifest in this dying world.

4 comments:

  1. Wow, Elizabeth. Good find, and great interpretation. I haven't read anything, anywhere about this, but it makes complete sense! Times are definitely very perilous, and I am anxiously biding my time until I get to go home. I can't wait to see how creation looked in its perfection. If man is in God's image, surely there's a lot in heaven that is like where we live now, right?
    Kim

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  2. Thanks Kim! The seed of thought that began this essay were two very different ones but yielded an essay that had been on my mind for a while. So much of earth is messed up, poisoned, unusable. When I read the dung reference, the problem with e coli in the food supply jumped out at me! Ewwww. I hardly eat anything anymore...it's all got mercury in it or e coli or other side effects of poisonous earth.

    as for new Heaven and New Earth, I can recommend Randy Alcorn's book "Heaven." Scriptural, solid, and in Q&A form, I will excerpt a tiny bot of what he says it will be like there:

    Every joy on earth, including the joy of reunion, is an inkling of greater joys. Grand Canyon, Amazon rain forest, the Alps, rough sketches of New Earth but will be so much more beautiful there..

    God paid attention to detail as He created our home for us here. In the same way, He is paying attention to the details of our eternal home in new heaven (John 14:2-3) and new earth

    However, the bible suggests that the new earth will not be only nor strictly a return to Eden. The world will be Eden-like but will maintain a continuity of history, nations, and cultures. We won't have to re-invent the wheel or musical instruments! Technology won't go away. History didn't start over when Adam & Eve were removed from the Garden, history continued with that event as a dividing line. In the same way, the new earth will be a dividing line of history but history won't start over. We will regain the natural perfection and gain a deeper beauty. Randy Alcorn describes all this on pages 241-248. Some of the scriptures describing earth's renewal are in Isaiah 51:3 / Ez 36:35 / Is 35:1 / Is 55:13

    As for our home after the Second Coming, New Jerusalem, capital of the New Earth,Oh Boy!! Heaven is described both as a country and a city. New Jerusalem is a city. A city is a city: walls, gates, homes, people, cultural events, athletic events... but without garbage, sirens, crime or any of the other things that make cities so lousy to live in! And wondrously it will shine with the Glory of God.

    I agree with your thought that there will be a lot in heaven like we have now. I can't conceive of how beautiful it will be but like you, I can't wait!

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  3. I have Randy Alcorn's book and have started it, but I seem to be reading many things at one time these days.....Lots to learn, lots to know.

    Kim

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  4. LOL, me too! SO much to learn! My problem is I get distracted by the internet...

    Have a great day Kim, Happy 2010! Maybe this will be the year He comes to gather us!

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