and there shall no longer be any curse Revelation 22:3
Curse – Do you remember what the Hebrew word for curse really means? ‘arar means binding, hedging in with obstacles and rendering powerless. We have lived in a world that has been bound since the days of Adam. But some day things will change. Some day the curse will be lifted. The world will no longer be powerless.
Go back and read the context of this hopeful vision in Revelation. You will find that it is a description of the Garden of Eden. Crystal clear water, the tree of life yielding fruit in season, healing and the throne of the Lamb are all part of this vision. In this context we discover that the curse will be no more. What does that mean? Since Adam and Eve were never cursed in the first place, lifting this curse does not take away sin. This is not an event in salvation history. This is an event in the restoration of earth. John must have wept when he heard these words from God. The earth is going to be re-newed (oh, yes, by the way, the Hebrew word here would not be new but rather renew). Now do you understand why Paul says that the earth groans for the day of redemption. The earth itself has been bound for thousands of years. It has been rendered powerless to do what it was intended to do. All because of sin! And when the consequences of sin are lifted from the earth, the dirt itself will rejoice. It will at last be able to function exactly as God designed it.
The re-newed heaven and the re-newed earth is part of the cosmic restoration plan. It’s not about you and me. We are not center-stage actors in this drama. We have a part to play, but the production is much, much bigger. It is a blessing and a privilege to be invited to the stage. Rejoice in that and then enjoy the show.
If John’s apocalyptic vision means anything at all, it adjusts our perspective on God’s interaction with the world. Far too often we assume that this entire drama is all about us. Of course, we might agree with Rick Warren that there is a bigger purpose, but if that bigger purpose is still about human projects like church planting, soul winning, body edification and moral legislation, we are still thinking in a very tiny box. God is at work in and on behalf of the universe. This is the greatest possible stage play. Go take a look at a wonderful exhibit on the size of everything (www.atlasoftheuniverse.com) and see how important you feel. God has some very big plans. It’s simply amazing that He even cares about us. But He does. You see, we are just like that bound dirt. We have a role to play in the perfect design of creation. Intuitively, you know this is true. If your existence were just an accident, you wouldn’t be aware of that deep longing for true purpose and fulfillment. You wouldn’t know when you were frustrated with life itself. But you do. You know it because you were made for something other than the bound universe. You know it. Nature knows it. The planet knows it.
Can you imagine what it will be like to live in an unbound world? Can you imagine what deep pleasure it will be to see things work as God intended? It will be the cosmic dream come true. Revel in the idea. Let the power of this hope lift you out of your tiny little box. Cast your gaze at the stars and realize that everything is going to change. Everything! I can hardly wait.
Topical Index: Curse