From school children to powerful world leaders, more and more people are talking about environmental concerns. According to recent studies, over half of the people in the United States are worried about climate change, and people in other countries are even more concerned about the potential for environmental disaster. But God’s will for His children is the more abundant life, which includes both freedom from fear and having the natural resources we need in order to prosper. We can look to God’s Word to learn how our heavenly Father would like us to view environmental concerns.
First, it is important to understand that God wants us to be blessed, not fearful. Several passages in God’s Word illustrate ways that He showers us with blessings by way of His creation, such as the following verses from Psalm 104.
He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.
He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth.
O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.
So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.
God’s will is to provide for all the needs of His people. So our attitude toward environmental concerns need not be based on fear. God assures us that He will preserve the earth in spite of spiritual wickedness or human negligence.
Who [God] laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.
II Peter 3:7:
But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved [set, kept like a treasure] unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
What tremendous comfort we have to know how God protects the earth! No matter what kind of environmental concerns we face, God does not want us to fear.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
After the great flood in the days of Noah, God promised that never again would He allow a flood “to destroy all flesh.” He established this promise with a rainbow that appears after a rainfall to remind us of His care and protection.
And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
I do set my bow [rainbow] in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow [rainbow] shall be seen in the cloud:
And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
Once we understand what God’s Word says about environmental concerns, we can make proper decisions on how to steward the resources He has provided us—decisions that are motivated out of love and thankfulness for God rather than out of fear.
Even though God promises to protect the earth, He still expects us to do our part in caring for our home. After He formed, made, and created man, God put him in the garden of Eden “to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2:7,8,15), which means to labor or serve in it, to diligently protect it, to oversee and preserve it. Today, we can have diligent care for our natural resources.
When we think of something as valuable, we will take care of it.
Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep [guard, protect] them.
Keep [guard, protect] thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
This kind of thinking contributes to our overall prosperity, as Proverbs 21:5 states: “The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness….”
In Genesis, God explains that the purpose of various plants and animals is to benefit humans. God intends for us to use the resources of the earth for our profit.
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
We have a moral duty not to neglect or squander the natural resources God has provided. The Founding President of The Way International, Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille, wrote the following in his publication The Life-style of a Believer: “Living in this world, we have to take this world as we find it and resolutely endeavor to act as virtuously as possible in every situation, striving always to choose the better of two or more alternatives and to make it a better world in which to live.”
Believers have the privilege and responsibility to determine how they are going to steward natural resources, based on the condition of the environment where they live and the time they are able to devote to it.
As we face specific environmental concerns of our own or those of others, we can remember God’s will to provide for the needs of His people. He does not want us to fear, He keeps like a treasure the heavens and the earth, and He wants us to have the natural resources we need in order to prosper. How blessed we are to know about God’s protection and bountiful supply!