The mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
“If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands! If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands! If you’re happy and you know it, then you might as well as show it, if you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands!” As you read or listened to that last line, what were you picturing? Likely, you had visions of 5-year-olds going through the actions of that song. Or maybe you envisioned the nursing home activity center with patients reliving their childhood and simultaneously getting their physical therapy. Either way, I doubt you pictured what Isaiah painted in the words of our Bible reading today, “All the trees of the field will clap their hands.”
We know that God’s Word changes people. But don’t sell short the total effect of God’s Word. God’s Word doesn’t just change people. When it accomplishes its purpose, the Word changes all of creation. And that’s a good thing. Look around. Almost daily, there are news reports of natural disasters. Our communities are threatened by wildfires and floods. We walk through the woods and stumble over a rotten tree that blocks our path. It doesn’t take keen observation skills to be reminded that all of creation groans because of the effects of sin. The thorns and thistles in our gardens are a very personal reminder of sin’s effects on all creation.
But not for long. God’s Word assures us that even creation will be freed from the effect of sin. When Jesus went to the cross to pay for the sins of the world, he did just that—he paid for the sins of the world. When Jesus went to the cross, he reversed the curse of sin—even on creation. That’s how complete his victory was. So while you sing for joy, know the mountains and hills join you in your chorus.
Lord, open my eyes to see your complete victory over sin and appreciate your love not only for me but for all of creation. Amen.