“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7
The familiar Creation story in Genesis provides a glimpse of God’s grand plan for the planet and for humankind. It’s breathtaking in its scope, as we see the Earth taking shape and teaming with life. And it isn’t until the second chapter of Genesis that the first man, Adam, enters the picture, followed quickly by the first woman, Eve.
The order of the Genesis account is significant. Humanity appeared after the world was created, not before (indeed, it would have been impossible to have it the other way around). The reality that we human beings don’t even show up until the second chapter of the Bible should instill in us a healthy humility; the world was there before we got here, and it belonged to God first, not us.
Unfortunately we treat the Earth as though it were a tool, a plaything, or even a trash can. As I write this, fires are engulfing the western United States, the world’s ice caps are rapidly melting, and environmentalists in my own state are warning that aging pipelines in the Great Lakes may soon rupture, which would devastate one of the nation’s great water sources.
Greed and need have caused us to trample on this great gift we’ve been given, and today our planet is paying the price; we are dealing with an altered climate, higher temperatures, and more frequent disasters.
Can we undo the damage? I like to think so. I grew up near Cleveland, Ohio, at a time when Lake Erie was declared unsafe for humans. But intentional measures were taken to rectify that situation, and a decade later the situation improved dramatically. I think the same intentional efforts can be applied to our world’s major environmental problems. And I believe Christians should be at the forefront of those efforts, as part of our calling to shine the light of Christ into the affairs of this world.
Pray: For effective environmental action to take place before the damage is too great, and for bi-partisanship to replace division.
Read: Genesis 1:31 – 2:8