Luke 12:24: “Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than many birds?”
Luke 12:27-28: “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?”
One of the newest rages of our society is the value of protecting the environment. I’m right there with people on this one. We do need to take care of the world we live in. My agreement with this idea comes from three primary truths:
1. We have only one world to live in. If this one becomes uninhabitable, we are in trouble!
2. I can’t fix the world if it becomes messed up! I don’t have the power to create new air, or water or sky. So, the environment does deserve our respect.
3. I am a steward over something that is not mine! This world is my home but not mine to destroy. I do believe that I will give account for foolish and irresponsible stewardship.
God instituted a system of care for creation. If the system is respected and looked after responsibly, it should be able to continue on. I need to work to sustain the system as best as I can so that it can function as it was designed. If I serve as a good steward, most living things should be able to continue on as they are sustained by the system that is set up by God.
But, there are other things that we have to consider as well.
It has been clear from the beginning that man is the highest being in the created order. It is without dispute (if you believe in God) that God created man to have dominion over His creation. God never said, “The earth is yours to do with what you want.” God gave man stewardship over His world. This is a great responsibility which can only be carried out as it was intended if man has the heart of God regarding our world. Once sin or deception regarding God’s heart enters, man begins to lose God’s view of what He was created for and what the things around him were created for. When this happens, we begin to see ongoing abuse of the environment.
But, it is clear from scripture that God does not put the same value upon an animal or a plant that He does on a human being. Jesus said that humans are of much more value than animals or plants. Plants have a part in sustaining the environment but have no eternal purpose beyond that. Animals have a part in sustaining the environment, providing comfort and assistance to humanity but have no eternal purpose beyond that. Their part should be respected and protected but when it comes down to a choice between the life of an animal and the life of a human being, the value of humanity is greater according to God.
Kindness to animals (what we call “humane treatment) is a manifestation of God’s heart. The Bible says in Proverbs 12:10: “A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.” There are animals that are given as a food source to humanity (Genesis 9:3), yet within that framework, humanity’s dealings with animals still reflect God’s heart and man’s responsibility as a steward.
As being the only living thing created in the image of God (basically meaning humanity is created in a form like God), humans are in a class by themselves. We have no real scientific evidence that proves conclusively that humanity evolved from lower life forms. As a matter of fact, the more science studies the building blocks of life, the more the connection between other life forms and humanity widens. I realize humanity doesn’t always reflect love and caring. This is because of an absence of a true knowledge of God and His word. It means humanity has become blinded to original design and function, NOT because he/she is exhibiting some form of inherited, ancestral “animalistic” trait.
Another thing to consider is: Man is very creative and that creativity often has side effects that cannot be envisioned. Some of his creations have inadvertently caused the destruction of a species or landscape. This is not conscious neglect or destruction. This can happen even under the most watchful of situations.
Scientists have been studying our planet since the fall of man and have found the laws of Thermodynamics to be written within the framework of our world. One law states that if no new energy (the sustainer of life) is introduced into the system, the potential energy available will always be less than that of the initial state. That tells me that the world’s system is in a state of entropy. What we see in the environment is changing and those changes often cause death.
I don’t know if even under perfect conditions and care, if we can expect this world to be exempt from showing some “wear” due to the very existence of life on its surface.
Let’s do the best we can to be good stewards over our planet. It is part of our worship of God. Yet, with that in mind, let’s not in an attempt to save the world, get our priorities out of whack trying to save an animal at the expense of humanity. God understands that we are not Him with the ability to give and save all life.
Is He a “green” God?
I would say yes, unless it conflicts with His favorite color; red – the color of His blood that paid the price for every man and woman in this world.
If we keep our priorities in order, our world will be in order too.