Why should we take care of the earth?If you asked people this question, you would probably get a variety of answers. The Bible says that God created the earth, the universe, and everything in it. God spoke and the whole world came to be (Genesis 1).
All things were created in him. He created everything in heaven and on earth. He created everything that can be seen and everything that can’t be seen. He created kings, powers, rulers and authorities. All things have been created by him and for him. Before anything was created, he was already there. He holds everything together. Colossians 1:16-17 (NIRV)Human beings are part of that creation, but something makes humans extra special. Everything else in creation God spoke into existence. God said, “Let there be…” and that thing came into being (Genesis 1). Humans, though were different.
Then the Lord God formed a man. He made him out of the dust of the ground. God breathed the breath of life into him. And the man became a living person. Genesis 2:7 (NIRV) So the Lord God caused him to fall into a deep sleep. While the man was sleeping, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs. Then the Lord God closed the opening in the man’s side. Then the Lord God made a woman. He made her from the rib he had taken out of the man. And the Lord God brought her to the man. Genesis 2:21-22 (NIRV)What made humans different? God spoke everything else into existence, but He shaped the first man and woman with His own hands. There’s another thing that makes humans different.
Then God said, “Let us make human beings so that they are like us. Let them rule over the fish in the seas and the birds in the sky. Let them rule over the livestock and all the wild animals. And let them rule over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created human beings in his own likeness. He created them to be like himself. He created them as male and female. Genesis 1:26-27 (NIRV)Only humans were made in the image of God. That does not mean that we are God or will be a god one day. It simply means we are like the one true God.
How are we made in the image of God?There are lots of qualities humans have that the Bible says God has too. This is how we are “in His image.” Stop and think a minute. Can you name some ways we are made in God’s image? Here are some of my favorites.
- God is love.
“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” 1 John 1:4 (NIRV)We have the ability to love too.
- God is Creator.
Lord, you created so many things! With your wisdom you made them all. The earth is full of the living things you made. Psalm 104:24 (ERV)We invent, create, and problem solve too. What is your favorite thing that you’ve made?
- God is righteous and just.
The Lord always does what is right. So he loves it when people do what is fair. Those who are honest will enjoy his blessing. Psalm 11:7 (NIRV)We value fairness rulers, and order too. Have you ever been treated unfairly? How did that make you feel? How did you want the problem resolved?
- Have you heard the phrase “God is relational”?
Lord, you have seen what is in my heart. You know all about me… I’m amazed at how well you know me. It’s more than I can understand. Psalm 139:1, 6 (NIRV)God wants us to talk with Him and choose to love Him.
But to all who received him, he gave the right to become children of God. All they needed to do was to trust him to save them. John 1:12 (TLB)We long to be in relationships too. We have friendships, families, and spouses. We also long to be in a relationship with God. Some people try worshipping other things, but only the one true God will fill that deep longing.
They chose a lie instead of the truth about God. They worshiped and served created things. They didn’t worship the Creator. But he is praised forever. Amen. Romans 1:25 (NIRV)Made in God’s image, humans are different from all the rest of creation. What does that have to do with Earth Day?
We are caretakers.In the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam and Eve a special job to do.
The Lord God put the man in the Garden of Eden. He put him there to farm its land and take care of it. Genesis 2:15 (NIRV)
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:28 (NIV; See also Genesis 1:26-30.)
Image (c) depositphotos.com/ olly18What were humans supposed to take care of? A – Their house B – The Garden of Eden C – The animals D – The whole earth and everything in it The correct answer is D – the whole earth and everything in it. They were to start with the Garden of Eden, then care for the rest of the earth and more and more humans were born, grew up, and moved to new places. God gave the earth to human beings for them to use to meet their needs (like eating the fruit in the Garden when they needed food). But, He also charged them to take care of the earth. They weren’t to go around trashing the place just because they could. They were to rule over the earth by lovingly caring for it, just as God rules over us with love. The same is true for us. What are some ways you can care for the earth? How can you protect and guard its resources? This is called being a good steward of the resources God has given us. (Read more about being a steward here.) Happy Earth Day!