Crazy weather has become routine. Record highs and lows in temperature, unprecedented natural catastrophes, threats of tsunamis and earthquakes, glacier melts, extinction of animal species and so on have been constantly in the news. Emissions and global warming have been hot topics for discussion on the national media. Our planet is being slowly and surely destroyed. What is the biblical perspective on this issue?
The genesis of this deterioration process is found in Genesis 3:17;
Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.
God placed man in the Garden of Eden, a place of incomparable beauty and perfection. Eden was a place that was given to man to nurture and protect, while he himself lived under the lordship of God. However, when man sinned, sin entered the realm of human existence. This led to man throwing away the yoke of God and declaring his independence. The consequence was that man became cursed, and death became part of the human existence. The effect was equally seen on the innocent creation, which reflects man’s state of being. The earth became cursed as well, destined for destruction.
Think of a computer, fresh from the factory, and running on the best software available. You start using the computer. One day you come across a questionable website and the computer software security program warns you, “don’t open, dangerous site”. You go ahead and open the site and soon you are infected with a computer malware. The computer still works, but no longer as it previously did- it is slow, crashes often and does things you don’t expect.
The creation is like the new computer from the factory. Adam was told not to eat the specific fruit; when he did, sin entered our existence and though the creation still works, it no longer does so as before and the numerous climatic changes we see for the worse are the consequence of sin having entered our creation as a malware.
When man continues to aggravate his dissociation from God and follows the ways of the world, living a life of sin, this deterioration becomes more pronounced. In the words of the prophet Hosea,
—-There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land. There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. Because of this the land dries up, and all who live in it waste away; the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea are swept away. (Hosea 4:1-3)
While efforts to save the earth are commendable, unless the sinfulness of man- the core of the matter is addressed, these efforts will barely bear fruit. Paul talks about the cursed creation, awaiting freedom and restoration through the impact of the ‘sons of the God’- those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior and have decided to live lives that are pleasing to him.
For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. (Romans 8: 19-21)
The deterioration of our planet, while inevitable, can certainly be stemmed, but hardly by the superficial measures we constantly hear about. Man’s return to God is the only decisive measure to at least partly reverse the curse.
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