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 ESV
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. Romans 8:18-21 ESV
A grizzly bear is a very large bear that lives in North America. Grizzly bears can be any number of colors, from a very light tan to a dark brown. They have a hump on their back between their shoulders, and this hump is muscles that make grizzly bears powerful diggers. They also have long claws on their front feet that help them dig. Grizzly bears eat all kinds of things, including roots, fruits, grasses, and berries. They also eat meat when they can, such as squirrels, fish, moose, and deer. Sometimes they eat cows, as well, which can be a big problem for cattle ranchers. People who own cows get very upset when a grizzly bear kills and eats their animals.
God didn’t create animals to hunt and eat each other, but when sin came into the world and even more after the flood, this behavior became the way of God’s world. God works through the behavior of predators to preserve his creation, but through the prophet Isaiah he showed us a time in the future when all of his creatures will live in peace. He talked about wolves and sheep, leopards and goats, lions and calves, and bears and cows all sleeping and grazing together, and little children playing near them or near poisonous snakes without getting hurt. God gave us a picture of a beautiful, peaceful world where everything that was broken by sin is made perfect and right again.
Jesus is the one who will give us this beautiful world in his new, heavenly kingdom. The Bible says that all the violence and ugliness of creation that is caused by sin is groaning and waiting to be made new. Jesus became part of his creation when he became a human person, and he suffered and died to defeat the sin and death that had spoiled his world. Because of Jesus, our sins are forgiven and we have new life with God right now. But we can also look forward to the future, when Jesus will come again and brings us to his heavenly kingdom, and everything will be as new and beautiful as it was in the beginning.
Dear Jesus, thank you for dying to save us and making us part of your new creation. Amen.