Thursday, April 22, 2010

Is Earth Day and Environmentalism of God?

My youngest son greeted me this morning with "It's Earth Day mama!! I'm going to LOVE the Earth!" I had to kiss that face.

My mother lives in my neighborhood. Whenever the boys and I walk down to her house, they are always upset about the litter they see on the side of the road. They always ask to pick it up. Ew. I always tell them "One day we will take our walk armed with gloves and trash bags and you can pick up all the trash you want," but then we never do...

I decided that in honor of Earth Day we would finally do it. So I got Drew some latex gloves (Purple. His favorite color.) and we took a walk on this beautiful day.

He was a hoot! "Take THAT, litter! Oh, you're goin' DOWN you trash!" It was great fun. Poor Gabe missed it though. He will not be too happy about that but...busy evening after school.

One day on the way to school Gabriel asked me why, when an animal becomes extinct, does God not just make more of that animal? In Genesis 1:28 God tells Adam and Eve to "...rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." The word "rule" here has lead some to believe that the earth's creatures and plants(as the verse goes on to include)are for our own benefit and rule and that we have permission to manipulate it as such. The original language used the word "radah." This form of the word rule was used to indicate care taking.

On the basis of a careful study of the Hebrew word, radah, which is usually translated as "to have dominion" or "to rule."5 By examining the use of this word in other passages in the Old Testament, it is most often used in political contexts to speak about the rule of a king or a nation. When the characteristics of the rule are discussed, the biblical texts emphasize a humane and compassionate rule that displays responsibility for others and that results in peace and prosperity. It can therefore be concluded that Genesis 1:28 does not advocate tyrannical exploitation of nature but rather responsible care of it. - Marcia Bunge "Biblical Views of Nature"

I actually just looked that last part up but what I had told my son was that "when mom and dad give you a toy and you break it due to carelessness we don't just go out and buy you a new one. God gave us the things of the Earth as a gift. It's not just our home but everything in it is for our delight as well as our survival. So when we mistreat this gift He will not just 'go out' and replace it."

This thought has started a snowball of compassion for all living things in my children but especially sweet Gabriel. He can not even bare to see a spider squashed! He recognizes that everything has a purpose and that our universe was carefully designed to work in the most intricate of ways.

Thank you Lord Jesus, for this beautiful world! Your creative genius is evident in everything from the details of a flowers petal to the vastness of the night sky! Give us wisdom in ways to preserve your masterpiece and forgive us for the things we have done that have altered it.

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