I remember the first Earth Day in 1970. I know that there were protests and such but at my elementary school we focused on pollution and littering and what we children could do keep our planet clean. Since that time there have been lies and exaggerations; crimes against nature by industrialists and crimes against society by environmentalists. There have also been terrible disasters, both man-made and natural, but the planet is a cleaner place than it was when I was a child and I have hope for the future.
In the first chapter of Genesis, God gave the management of creation to humanity (1:26-28). He looked down on the world He created and declared it good (Genesis 1:31).
Nature is indeed good. It provides balance between predator and prey. Bacterium breaks down waste and provides nutrients even as it feeds. Plants filter our air and provide us with oxygen.
It is also beautiful. There is a wonderful variety of species. The colors, textures, sounds, tastes and smells are unparalleled by human structures. Martin Luther wrote, “God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars.” God put them here for our enjoyment. Our world could have been created black and white and tasteless. Would we have known the difference?
God cares about nature. Jesus said, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care (Matthew 10:29).” The earth and all its resources belong to God. Psalm 24:1 tells us, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.” The Bible teaches us that we are to care for the earth (Genesis 1:27). It is God’s will that we enjoy the earth and manage it well.
When we fail in our care and abuse the earth we upset the balance of nature and things begin to go wrong. Sometimes our poor management of the earth is due to greed. Other times we don’t want to be inconvenienced. Whatever the reason for our failure, the results are the same. We stand outside of God’s revealed will and we endanger our ability to live on this planet.
Laws have been passed, polluters have been punished and disasters have been cleaned up but individuals can have the biggest impact on the environment. About one third of household garbage comes from packaging. Recycle, reuse, and reduce are the watchwords for those who take the management of creation seriously. Environmental friendly acts can also save you money (another resource that needs preservation).
Happy Earth Day!