The Locusts of Ageing
The Artificer created Adam mature from the dust of the ground (Gen. 2:7). Then the Potter placed His clay-man in His garden to dry (Gen. 2:8; Job 33:6). The Anaesthetist put Adam to sleep and the Surgeon operated to remove one of his ribs to craft it into Eve (Gen. 2:21&22). The Marriage Celebrant performed the very first wedding between the couple of legal age (Gen. 2:22-24). Adam and Eve knew about ‘the birds and bees’ (2:19). Eve, like one of the Arboriculturist’s flowering trees, had been designed by the Geneticist to bear fruit of Adam’s pollination (Gen. 1:11,12; 2:9; 3:16; 4:1).
The Triune God, who, as such, is diversity in unity (and therefore ‘wears many hats’), formed all aspects of Adam and Eve perfect in the beginning (Gen. 1:26&27; 2 Cor. 13:14). Blessing the perfect couple God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’ Genesis 1:28. Thus mankind (i.e., Adam and Eve and all subsequent descendants), like a bunch of grapes on the vine, was to mature with age.
As ‘one bad apple spoils the whole bunch’ by spreading its decay, so Adam and Eve became over-ripe when they ate the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:6; Rom. 5:12; 1 Cor. 15:21). Maturity turned to ageing when they turned their naked backs on God (John 15:4&5). As leafless tree branches in summer often show root problem, so their relationship with God was severed. Frostbite to their extremities exposes how cold they had grown toward God, for the icicled fingers of death clutch at the throat of every son and daughter of Adam from conception onward – including you and me today. Sometimes before, but after maturation comes degeneration – the time when the locusts of ageing begin to eat away our years.
Medical examination points out macula-degeneration in one of my eyes and x-rays reveal disc-degeneration in my lower back. Age is catching up with me! Why can’t I be like cheese and wine and simply improve with age? Yet even cheese and wine reach a point beyond maturity – a point where they go off. Am I (and the whole rest of creation) beyond the point of no return?
Where do decay and corruption come from? Scripture gives this answer with its attendant joyful promise: ‘For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labours with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfuits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.’ Romans 8:20-23.
Not only does the Triune God ‘wear the hat’ of creation’s Creator, He is also creation’s Redeemer, and Regenerator. The Father is usually designated Creator, the Son Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit Restorer. If Adam is the ‘bad apple’ whose rot spread through the whole bunch, then the Son of God (as the new Adam) is the ‘good apple’ by which God saves His people and His creation from the end of that rot which is to be cast into the cosmic dump (Hell). The Holy Spirit gathers the apples chosen by the Father and paid for by the Son. Belonging to the great restoration their branches are engrafted into Christ the tree of life.
The Spirit works in the core of the His people’s being, planting the seed of His Word. And with His Word He regenerates, renews or re-births them – as Peter says, ‘having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the LORD endures forever.” Now this is the word by which the gospel was preached to you.’ 1 Peter 1:23-25.
Dear reader, perhaps you have noticed that your flower is falling away – that your maturation has now turned into ageing and is now eating away your years. Then turn to the Lord and hear what He says to His people, ‘So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied., and praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you; and my people shall never be put to shame.’ Joel 2:25&26.