Sunday, April 22, is the day that most governments around the world designate as Earth Day. The day is intended to have peoples of the world focus on how the Earth should be cared for as a secular responsibility and fails to recognize that God directed His most prized creation, man, to manage all the Earth. What is often overlooked in secular Earth Day events, is that our duty to care for the planet we call Earth is part of a Christian’s duty to care for fellow man. This week’s verse for meditation and reflection is followed by a short article intended to challenge the believer to conform his or her relationship with the Earth, with his or her relationship with the Creator. The Bible passage for meditation and reflection for April 22-28, 2012 is Genesis 1-27-30 (NKJV).
"(27) So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (28) Then God blessed them, and 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 earth." (29) And God said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. (30) Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food," and it was so. (Genesis 1: 27-30, NKJV)
THE EARTH IS THE CREATORS
Reduce our carbon footprint? Going green? Lessen our dependence on oil? Global warming? These are all statements we have heard in some variation with increasing frequency over the past several years. Political parties use this topic to try and discredit the other party. Earth Day is a day when we are encouraged to examine our lifestyle and how it affects the Earth. This year, Earth Day was April 22, 2012. There are many “experts” out there who are more than willing to weigh in with their opinions and tell you how you should be living to take care of our planet, yet we often fail to ask the advice of the foremost expert who created Earth, God.
Genesis 2:15 says “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” (NIV) In short, God entrusted us with the Earth and we are to take care of it to honor Him. In Genesis 1:28, after the creation of man and woman, God instructed them “fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the seas and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Gen. 1:28b, NIV) God also gave us dominion over the land, not to lay it to waste, but to use it and the animals as needed. This is evidenced by God’s own actions. “The Lord God made garment of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” (Genesis 3:21, NIV) While God allowed using animals for food and clothing acceptable, it was to be only as needed. When the Israelites were greedy and took more food then they could eat, God sent a severe plague on his people. (Numbers 11:31-34) We are not to take advantage of the resources provided by God.
The Lord God provided all that we need to take care of ourselves, directing us to use the resources provided to us reasonably and responsibly. It is up to each one of us to decide what that means. Should we not treat it with the same love He has repeatedly shown for us? God was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for us, sending His son to die, the ultimate sign of love. Should we not be willing to consider if our actions are pleasing to Him concerning our care for Earth?