–in the new earth. They started that way. Nature was a safe place, every part of it. Not anymore. Sin corrupted everything, the atmosphere, the earth, the forest. We’ve heard the stories of bears overtaking campers in Yosemite, alligators attacking vacationers in Florida, and lions sneaking up on a village in Tanzania. Sin has devastated the landscape. Not only did we fall, but it even changed the personality of animals. They began fighting with each other, and many of them turned against humans, the cause of the problem. They don’t know why they do it, but we do.
Kids ask the perceptive question, “Why did God make mosquitoes?” They seem to serve no good purpose. They did before the fall. And in the new earth they will not be sucking blood out of bodies. Guaranteed. So said a friend on a recent trip to Tanzania, when we spent a little time swatting them. (And I’m not sure if we will have blood).
Paul writes that “creation was subjected to futility” (Romans 8:20). Thankfully, “creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now” (21,22). Creation includes the ground that was cursed and has produced weeds ever since, and the animal kingdom that in part turned against the crown of God’s creation. Nature, including the animal kingdom, will partake in the great makeover!
God is not going to trash the earth and start over. Jesus spoke of “the renewal of all things.” As ˚one writer wrote, “ God said, ‘Behold I make all things new,’” (Revelation 21:5), not “all new things.” We will be back to the beginning, when “God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:25). Sin turned creation from good to not-so-good. Tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, and avalanches are nature’s way of saying, “Something went wrong.” In the new earth we will all be friends, so much so that “the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:6-9).
Notice that “they shall not hurt or destroy.” The new earth will be filled with animals and humans who have a new nature. Love will prevail. “We shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (I John 3:2). Little children (and there will be little children in the new earth according to the passage above) will not need babysitters or parents to protect them in the woods. We won’t even have parents, but we will all have one Father. And He will make ALL THINGS NEW! Those things that now destroy or threaten or cause us to lose sleep will be tamed or eliminated. And we probably won’t sleep, because “night will be no more” (Revelation 22:5). I can only imagine!