(pic courtesy of me, taken in Basye, Virginia in October).
I must admit I am a major tree hugger. I much prefer taking pix of nature than people, and I am constantly looking at the sky because I always find that my breath is taken away when I gaze at the clouds. I am just drawn to nature. I recycle the smallest pieces of paper or plastic I find, and get stressed out when people leave the sink or shower running what I deem too long. I’m a stickler for turning off all the lights and unplugging electronics when not in use. I just love this earth and want to keep it beautiful.
Recently, I read an article about nature and what it means to “rule over it” (Gen. 1:28). I will type out most of the article here, leaving out the conclusion as it is really a recap of what was said, and add some of my own thoughts after.
“Does the Bible Teach the Abuse of Nature? by Steve W. Lemke
The answer to this question requires balancing and blending two truths.
1. God expects us to use nature. God commanded humans to have dominion over all of nature, subduing it and ruling over it (Gn 1:20-31). God gave persons broad latitude in their dominion over nature, including permission for humans to eat plants and animals for food…Jesus demonstrated His absolute control over nature in events such as calming a storm…and causing a fig tree to wither…We thus have divine approval to use nature for our own needs and purposes. Good stewards are expected to maximize production by shrewd management of God-given resources…
2. God opposes the abuse of nature. Our having dominion over nature should not be confused with our owning nature. Humans do not own nature, because the earth is the Lord’s…We are given the natural world as a stewardship, not as a possession.
Scripture teaches that, as stewards of God’s good creation, we should apply sound principles of land and resource management. In the agricultural regulations of Old Testament law, for instance, the land was to lie fallow in the seventh year so its minerals could be replenished…In two key New Testament parables-the parable of the vineyard and the parable of the talents-human beings are depicted as stewards or managers of God’s property. These parables emphasize that God will hold us accountable for our management of these resources.”
I absolutely agree with responsibility when it comes to using the earth’s resources. It’s very clear that changes need to be made. Many people on this Earth do not have access to clean water or other resources that could sustain them. And far too many people use exorbitantly more than they need to live off of. Wastefulness will kill us all.
On a last note, I want to leave you with my favorite Bible verse about nature. It comes from Isaiah 55:12: “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands!” What an incredibly beautiful and poetic metaphor! Every time I see the wind blow through the trees it always looks like the leaves really are clapping. Just another reminder of how glorious and precious nature is, and how depend on it.
Have a great day, and try to remember to look up at the sky at least once this blessed day!