Monday, December 07, 2020

Look in the mirror! You are pharaoh…

It is important here to understand the logic by which Paul includes the nonhuman creation in God’s salvific plan. In Paul’s picture the human race implicitly takes the place of Pharaoh; we have subjected creation to futility or frustration, much as the Egyptian king oppressed the Israelites. According to the first chapters of Genesis, humanity was granted stewardship over their earthly environment. But then came the fall, which distorted but did not abrogate our stewardship. Just as an abusive parent can destroy a family or a dictator can devastate a nation, so human corruption has affected that which has been entrusted to our care, with the result that the nonhuman realm is now “subjected to futility. There are echoes here of the curse on the ground in Genesis 3:17, stemming from human disobedience, and the effect of rampant human violence in corrupting or ruining the earth at the time of the flood (Gen. 6:11).—J. Richard Middleton, A New Heaven and a New Earth, 160

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