Bible texts: Ecology



1 Dominion or stewardship?

Then God said "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea, and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground" (Genesis 1:26).

So God created man in His own image…male and female He created them (Genesis 1:27)

God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it" (Genesis  1:28)

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it (Genesis 2:15).

2 God’s provision for man

 Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it, they will be yours for food." (Genesis 1:29).

Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be thrown into the fire (Matthew 7:19)

For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it be received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer (I Timothy 4:4-5).

"The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre…then he ran to his herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. He then brought some curd and milk and the calf that had been prepared and set these before them." (Genesis 18:1,7-8),

Then came the day of Unleavened bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover." (Luke 22:1).

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them" (Genesis 3:21).

John the Baptist wore clothing made of camel's hair, the a leather belt around his waist, amd he ate locusts and wild honey (Mark 1:6).

Animals were also used, with God's approval, for transportation (Jesus rode into Jerusalem on an ass's colt, for example), to serve as beasts of burden, and as sacrifices for sin. Trees were felled for construction and for firewood, and designated areas (e.g., the valley of Hinnom) were used for refuse disposal.

3 God’s care for His creation

"And to all the beasts of the earth, and all the birds of the air, and all the creatures  that move on the ground - everything that has the breath of life in it - I give every green plant for food" (Genesis 1:28)

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it, for He founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters (Psalm 24:1).

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? (Isaiah 40:12).

Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain and a path for the thunderstorm, to water a land where no man lives a desert with no one in it, to satisfy a desolate wasteland and make it sprout with grass? (Job 38:26-27).

He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains. They give water to all the beasts of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. The bords of the air nest by the waters; they sing among the branches. . . . He makes grass to grow for the cattle, . . . There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number . . . These all look to you to give them food at the propoer time. When you give it to them they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things (Psalm 104:10,11,12,14,25,27,28).

But ask animals, and they will teach you; and the fowls of the air, and they will teach you; Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach you; and let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? (Job 12:7-10).

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? and not one of them shall fall on the ground without the will of your Father…and even the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows (Matthew 10:29-31).

Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them…see how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. And yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these" (Matthew 6:28-29)

4 Protection against man

For the Scripture says, do not not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain" (I Timothy 5:18).

When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat her with his staff. Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, "What have I done to you, to make you beat me these three times?" (Numbers 22:28).

Do not cook a young goat in its mother's milk (Exodus 23:19)

The seventh day is the sabbath to the Lord your God: on it you shall not do any work . . . nor your animals (Exodus 20:10).

For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather your crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a sabbath of rest, a sabbath to the Lord. (Leviticus 25:3,4).

5 Errors of mankind?

The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great - and for destroying those who destroy the earth (Revelation 11:18)

Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal men, and birds and animals and reptiles…they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creation more than the Creator (Romans 1:25)

6 Implication of the teachings and resurrection of Jesus

The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God (Romans 8:19-21)

"In keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness (2 Peter 3:13)

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, for by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, whether thrones of power or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him or for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:15-17)
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