Summary: The "sounds of salvation" are the sounds of "earth groaning in expectation" for Christ’s return.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Three In One who gives us our Hope that even nature sings about.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ. “We know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.” (See text, vs. 22).
In the hills of New England, there is a sound like no other. It happens in the Spring. Maple trees all around New England genetically engineered specifically for producing Maple sap for the production of maple syrup are creating this noise. The noise is reported to sound like the creeeeeeek of a floor board when you step on it the wrong way, followed up by a large audible thud.
These maple trees you see, are genetically engineered so that they produce more sap than the normal maple tree. If left alone and untapped, the trees produce so much sap that their cells expand to a point beyond what their rigidity can handle. When this happens, the pressure in the cells build up to a point where the cells literally explode. When this happens, usually in the first light of morning as things are warming up, you can hear a “creeeeeek…….bang!” and the side of a tree facing the sun is completely obliterated.
Have you heard the creeking?
Have you heard things piling up? Boiling up in your lives? Have things gotten tough? Maybe too tough? Maybe you feel like you’re about to explode. Maybe like you’re about to hear the BANG.
We live our Baptized lives in the midst of all sorts of pressure don’t we? There is the pressure to sin by doing the wrong thing. There is the pressure to sin by not doing the right thing. Building up inside of us a pressure so big that it rivals that of the maple trees that I have been telling you about. Building up in us is sin and the effects of sin on us Christians.
We are daily assaulted by sin in all sorts of ways. We are assaulted by the blatant sin that tells us to do wrong. You and I could probably list several sins in our lives like this. This is the sin that tells you that it’s not really wrong to cheat if nobody ever finds out about it, and after all – doesn’t God want us to do well? This is the sin that tells us that whatever wrong we do, it won’t really matter in the end. You can go about your life swearing and cursing and stealing and committing adultery and bearing false witnesses and all sorts of nasty nasty stuff.
We are daily assaulted by the somewhat more subtle sin. We are assaulted by the sin that tells us that the good that we could do is useless and futile. This sin tells us that no matter how good we do, it would be just like making a pin prick in one of those pressurized maple trees – not enough to do any good.
We are daily assaulted by sin trying to creep back at us. This sin creeps back into our lives, our forgiven lives, and tells us that we really haven’t been forgiven at all. This sin looks at the skeletons in our closets and tells us – God may forgive sins, but there’s no way that He would forgive a sin THAT big. There’s no way He really said your sins are forgiven. Not all of them.
All of this sin pressurizes us. It pressurizes you and me. It builds up not just inside of you, but inside of every human out there – and if we get too full – creeeeek and then BANG, we’re done for. This kind of sin doesn’t just show up in our actions though, even nature has been affected by man’s fall into sin. Because of our sin, God says “cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you.” (Genesis 3:17-18)
Cursed is the ground! Cursed is nature! Because of our sins we have things like genetic abnormalities that harm little babies in the womb. Because of our sins we have sickness and disease. Because of our sin, because of that pressure that we’re building up not only in ourselves but in the earth, we have an existence that is cursed and doomed for destruction and self destruction.
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.” (See text, vs. 22).
Have you ever been in a lightning storm? Living in Florida it would seem hard to escape having been in one. Have you ever been real close….I mean reeeeeal close to a lightning strike? Have you ever been close enough to feel the lightning coming before you actually saw it?