God and the Environment–What Our Children Need to Know

ID-100186251 Last week, people around the world commemorated Earth Day, drawing attention to the necessity of caring for the physical world in which we live. However, as Christians, we must be careful to evaluate the environment and our role in it through the truth of Scripture. Not all that is promoted in the environmental movement is grounded or supported in God's design and purpose for His creation. Here are a few Scriptural "building blocks" concerning the environment to give our children:
  • God created the world and owns everything in it (Psalm 24:1, Isaiah 44:24).

The earth does not belong to "all creatures." It belongs to God.

  • God sustains the world (Hebrews 1:3).

God designed the relationships between everything in the environment, and God He is the one who upholds and sustains these relationships. He wisely designed things like the water and carbon cycles that sustain life.

  • God sovereignly rules over the world (Psalm 103:19).

Ultimately, it is God who decides whether the earth will warm or cool. He ordains the number of people who will live on the earth. He decrees the rain or lack thereof.

  • Man is God's unique image bearer (Genesis 1:27; 9:1).

Humans have value and worth that is distinct and greater than all other created things. God has commanded man to be fruitful and fill the earth.

  • Man is to have God-honoring dominion over creation (Genesis 1:28).

We are to carefully manage and use the environment in ways that honor God by carrying out our stewardship duties in a thoughtful and responsible manner.

  • The world is under a God-imposed curse because of man's sin (Romans 8:20, 22).

The world in which we live will not look or act as it did before the fall. Man is sinful, and not all of our decisions will be good management decisions regarding creation. But even apart from the decisions of man, there will be death, pollution, famines, and harmful climate events—like hurricanes, volcanoes, forest fires, etc. Because of the curse, all creation is groaning.

  • God will restore and renew His creation (Revelation 21:1-5).

Although the world is currently under a curse, a day is coming in the future when Jesus will return, remove the curse, and restore and renew all things.

Also, here is a good blog post from Kevin DeYoung, “Building a Better Earth Day.” (Image courtesy of Gualberto107 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)
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