Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Even the rich own nothing

Yesterday I started talking about the environment. My main point then was that we should care about it because God cares about it. That should be sufficient reason, so while I recognize people have other motivations behind their concern for the earth, to me the driving force is God's concern. What matters to Him should matter to me.

Knowing that God cares about the environment, though, leaves several questions unanswered. Today I'd like to address one of the next logical question: Given that God cares, what's His role? To this question, I think the Bible again provides important answers.

A good summary of God's role is that He is sovereign creator, sustainer, redeemer and owner of all creation, including our earth and the environment in which we live.

God is sovereign creator. It was for and by Him that everything was made. The Psalmist describes, poetically, how God's greatness is demonstrated through His creative power. He is in control of creation. Above that, He is sovereign over creation. This sovereignty means we can't stop God's will (says the good Calvinist in me.) He has control over all of His creation - nothing escapes this control.

God also sustains what He has created. He holds all things together and sustains all things with His word. Without this sustaining by God creation would cease to exist.

Creation also needs to be redeemed, and God is the Redeemer. It is not just mankind that reaps the wages of sin. The earth is under a curse because of our sin. Besides working His will to redeem people, He is working towards the day when creation itself will be redeemed.

Finally, because He created it, He owns it. Everything He has given us to use can be taken away according to His will. All of creation, including the environment, is His. If everything is His, then really we own nothing. As Job found out, his wealth was out of his control. He really, when it came down to it, owned nothing. In human terms, it makes sense to speak of human ownership, but in reality - God owns it all.

God is creator, sustainer, redeemer and owner, sovereign over all of creation. And He cares about the earth. But what does that mean for us? Stay tuned. More questions coming up in the series.

God bless!

No comments: