Creation, evolution, and redemption

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Every time I make dinner for my family, I feel a little attached to it. I drag all the ingredients out of the fridge, slightly begrudgingly. I clang around the pots and pans, setting them out on the stove. I lay veggies out on the counter. I start to chop and dice. I begin to see the colors and think on what spices I want to add. I hear the sizzle of oil as it starts to light up in my bright red dutch oven. I mix and I stir and I ponder and I create. I begin to get excited. I set out our eclectic collection of cloth napkins. I hustle and I invite to the table. We all sit down and then someone says it…

“Ugh, what’s this green stuff?”

“Why did you put onions in here?”

“Well, I’ll eat this part, but there is no way I’m eating that.”

But…but…but…I want to say, “I made that!!! I worked hard on that. That is my creation!”

This is God with us. He is maybe less of a giant baby about it, but He looks on us as more than a hastily thrown together sandwich. He made us with His own hands. He breathed His own breathe into us for life.

Read Genesis 2:5-7 below.

When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground— then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

We are a careful part of His creation. A thoughtful part of His creation.

This is an important concept as we dig into Redeemed. Let’s read Isaiah 44:21-24 and find out more about God’s thoughtfulness regarding His creation.

Remember these things, O Jacob,
    and Israel, for you are my servant;
I formed you; you are my servant;
    O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.
22 I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud
    and your sins like mist;
return to me, for I have redeemed you.

23 Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it;
    shout, O depths of the earth;
break forth into singing, O mountains,
    O forest, and every tree in it!
For the Lord has redeemed Jacob,
    and will be glorified in Israel.

24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
    who formed you from the womb:
“I am the Lord, who made all things,
    who alone stretched out the heavens,
    who spread out the earth by myself…

Almost every single verse here has the concept of redeemed stated loud and clear. Underline each one, if you have your Bibles open.

The first time we hear it, in verse 22, God points back to the very beginning, to creation:

Return to me, for I have redeemed you.

Return to me recognizes that we were once in relationship with God to begin with. Verse 21 clarifies that relationship –

I formed you…you will not be forgotten by me.

God redeems us because He is our Father and our Maker.

The concept of evolution not only picks away at our value as the children of God, it messes with the concept of our redemption by God as well. Let’s see if we can see the creation and redemption connection in a fresh light.

In Isaiah 44:21-24 the same Hebrew root word is used in every reference to redemption – ga’al*. There are two Hebrew roots for redemption found in the Old Testament*, this word ga’al and another padah.

They both mean essentially the same thing – redeem, ransom, rescue, redemption price, buy back, etc. However, ga’al has one major difference…close relationship.
Ga’al has to do with the concept of kinsman-redeemer, which we’ll study later this week. What you need to know for now is that it is a relational word. It is redemption by a close relative, a kinsman, a family member.

Redemption in Isaiah 44 has to do closely with being redeemed by our Father God, by our brother Jesus, and not just a stranger. God wants to buy us back because we are part of His family, because He formed us and crafted every part of us.

Ephesians 2:10 starts to play in my head:

 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Glance back a few verses to Ephesians 2:4, and let it sit.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us…

You are redeemed because you were loved from the beginning. You are a work of art. God crafted your being, your DNA, your atoms and substance, your hair, your nails, your fingerprints. He birthed you and brought you into the light of day (Isaiah 44:24). Of course He’s going to redeem you!

Isaiah 44:23 is so full of joy that it bursts from the page.

Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it;
    shout, O depths of the earth;
break forth into singing, O mountains,
    O forest, and every tree in it!
For the Lord has redeemed Jacob,
    and will be glorified in Israel.

Why are the mountains, the forests, and every single tree singing? Because He created all of it. He wove each piece of this earth, fashioned each tall oak and every stout little flower. They are part of the redemption song. They sing Jesus’s praise every day. Why? If you read Isaiah 44 carefully, it’s not because of their restoration, which is to come, it is because Jacob, because God’s people have been redeemed. Wow!

Birds tweet a song – “You are redeemed.”
Mountains stand tall with joy – “You are redeemed.”
Trees sway and leaves rustle – “You are redeemed.”

Praises for His creation and the connection of His abiding Word from beginning to end. He does not leave us, nor forsake us, we will not be forgotten. We are His, in both creation, and redemption.

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Exploration:

Did you learn anything new about the difficult topics of creation and evolution today?

What have you learned that helps you to stand strong in God as creator? These might be Bible verses, a teachers influence, an experience, etc.

What is one of your favorite parts of His creation, beyond people, i.e. in the natural world?

*biblehub.com/interlinear

*The Lutheran Study Bible published by Concordia Publishing House

5 thoughts on “Creation, evolution, and redemption”

  1. Good stuff! Per question #1, I like how you point out our value as His created and the concept of redemption suffering in the idea of evolution. Excellent point. I’m going to carry that word “value” with me this week. No matter my mistakes or insecurity, I am a created, well-thought-out, and loved work of art. And my favorite part of creation is the ocean. I cannot be near it and not feel overwhelmed with the beauty, the power, and the peace of it. Btw, what’s for dinner tonight? 🙂

    1. Turkey burgers on lettuce with hummus, and sweet potato chips- this meal is mostly on Dave and the grill. Score for me! 😉 Haha! Good question!

  2. I find great comfort knowing that God made everything. I am humbled that with his great perspective he took the time to focus on every nuance of my being. And that he loves me enough to walk with me through my faults and shortcomings encouraging me to learn more about his love and grow in faith (evolve).

  3. I’ve always delighted in the beauty of God’s creation in nature, but now is added in this awesome revelation that this explosion of beauty is for the joy that i am redeemed! Wow.

  4. I was reminded that the concept of evolution messes with our redemption by God. I have been blessed to learn that through Bible study, workshops, and books.

    One of my favorite parts of God’s creation are animals. I love to observe and marvel over them. Same thing for plants. I guess that covers most everything. God is so cool!

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