World Prophetic Ministry / The King is Coming
Yesterday, Earth Day was recognized globally. How should a Christian relate to the environment? When God made man, He gave man the responsibility of having dominion over the environment: “And God blessed them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth,” Genesis 1:28.
However, dominion does not imply domination or wanton destruction. Man is to assume the role of a caretaker, carefully managing all aspects of the environment and how they relate to one another. We are to realize that God created all we need to sustain life on the planet, and He clothed His creation with beauty so that we might appreciate both the creation and its Creator. We are also to remember that the ability of creation to meet our needs is often limited, and we are to observe those limits. For example, in the Mosaic Law, God provided that the land should have rested one year out of seven, so the nutrients could replenish themselves. Anything that grew by itself in that year was reserved for the poor people and the animals (Exodus 23:10-11).
After Noah’s flood, God gave man the right to use animals for food (Genesis 9:3). This, too, carries with it the responsibility to allow animals to reproduce in order to serve the needs of further generations of mankind. Several hundred years ago, millions of bison, or buffalo, roamed the open land of the western United States. When setters arrived, they killed these animals in what could only be called a wholesale slaughter and almost reduced them to extinction. By the turn of the 20th century, only about 1,000 were left. Fortunately, steps were taken to preserve this species.
As life has become more complex in modern times with massive urbanization and industrialization, the challenges involving our stewardship of the planet have become more complex as well. Man-made pollution from automobiles, factories, and chemicals can, left unchecked, affect the land, sea, and air around them, and the wildlife that lives therein. As population increases, so does rubbish, while the areas available for its disposal shrink proportionally. Man has again responded to the challenge by implementing pollution controls, establishing recycling programs, and so on.
Finally, it should be mentioned that environmentalism can be taken to a dangerous extreme. Some people advocate a “live and let live” approach to the environment that would allow any and all creatures to reproduce unhindered. This does not constitute wise stewardship of the environment. Extreme environmentalism can also be taken to replacing God and worshipping His creation instead.
Until the day of Christ’s return, may we be good stewards of the world God has entrusted to us: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away,” Revelation 21:1,4.
Transforming Power; the Work of God on Behalf of Man