Romans 8:19-22

Romans 8:19‑22  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Look with me, beloved sister, at Romans 8.
19-22. " For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who bath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now."
There is a propriety in the creation waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, because the "earth bath he given to the children of men." And thus creation travels her history with them. In their innocency creation was blest, in their transgression it was cursed, and so again it is when they are manifestedly glorified, creation will be delivered into the glorious liberty with them. The Church has the same connection with her Head. In this world, where He was rejected, she finds no place, but when He appears, they also shall appear with Him in glory. His ways determine those of the Church or saints. Man's ways or state determines creation's.
I do not judge that this "manifestation of the sons of God" will take place at the opening of the millennium, but at the close. There will be something of it in the land of Judea then, but not throughout creation. The Church will be in some sense manifested in glory over Jerusalem all through the millennial age. The golden city will descend and take her millennial place in the air above the earthly city of the Great King. And, in that measure, creation will rejoice. That is, "nothing shall hurt or destroy in all God's holy mountain." The glory resting there, the corresponding glorious liberty of creation, will be known there. But the whole creation. will not, I judge, be called into such liberty till a fuller and more universal manifestation of the sons of God takes place, in the new heavens and new earth. The liberty of creation will be commensurate with the manifestation of the sons. When the heavens are new, the earth will be new. When the morning stars shine, as it were; throughout the hemispheres, and not merely in the skies of Judea, then creation will enter into her complete rest in glory. And Judea in the millennium will thus be a sample of the new earth that is to be afterward.
And I see a great beauty and fitness in Paul's looking out to the last and wider manifestation. The Jewish prophet, when anticipating for a moment " the new heavens and the new earth," could at once turn to Israel and say, " For, behold I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy." (Isa. 65:17, 1817For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. 18But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. (Isaiah 65:17‑18).) And again: " For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain." (Isaiah 66:2222For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. (Isaiah 66:22).)
It was duly the way of the Spirit rather to contract the vision then and fix it on the land of the people whom He was addressing.
But Paul was not the prophet of Israel, but of creation, being the apostle of the Gentiles, and therefore he at once enlarges the vision, and passes by that subordinate and previous exhibition of "glorious liberty" which Jerusalem and the land of the Jewish prophet was to rejoice in, looking outward and onward to the manifestation of the sons of God in the eye of the whole creation.
Farewell, my dear sister; your poor body feels the pressure, but the Lord is under the load with you. There is a helper of infirmities. May His comforts refresh your soul,