“We know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only so, but ourselves also…” Rom. 8:22
There is a law of travail that is written deep in creation and perhaps mostly in human history. It is one fact which no one can deny. It is there. We cannot get away from it. It is forcing itself upon our consciousness and recognition all through our lives.
The Bible begins with the establishment of this law, both in human life and in the natural order. The Bible ends with the abolition of that law; its complete removal from every realm of creation. It can be traced through the whole Bible. In almost every book of the Bible, this law of travail can be found. And in the last book, the book of the Revelation which is the culmination of all the things that are in the rest of the Bible, we find that the outstanding feature of that book is this law of travail. In every connection and direction, it’s a book of travail. The Church is in travail. The overcomers are in travail. The nations are in travail. All the heavenly bodies are in travail. It is the culmination of this law which has been operating all the way through history. It began with the birth of the first child; it ends with the birth of a new heaven and a new earth.
It is therefore a very important thing that we should understand the meaning attached to this law, why God introduced it and established it and has never lifted it and never does, but holds all history of individuals, of families, of society, of nations, and peculiarly of the Church, to this law. I say it’s very important that we should understand the divine meaning attaching to travail. What did God mean man to learn by it?
We are not so concerned with man in general, or even with the world, although it would be instructive were we to see what God is doing in nations and in society and in industry and in science and in every other realm by this law, for it’s there; but that is not our present object. If the Church is what we are given to understand that it is, the central object of God’s concern, of God’s interest, the center of His concentrated activities, then the Church has something to learn from this law because there is no doubt about it that however true it is in every other realm, the Church has at the very center of its history the working out of this law of travail. There is a concentration, it would seem, of this law in the Church.
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