Callous or Caring?
“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours” —1 Chronicles 29:11, NIV
When man took his first step, he was charged by God with the responsibility to look after all that God had created. Genesis 2:15 tells us: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (NIV).
By the time we get to Paul’s letter to the Romans we realize the effect that sin has had, not only on mankind, but on the creation that God entrusted to him. Paul writes: “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 the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Romans 8:19:22, NIV).
This, of course, looks to the future when the effects of sin will be eradicated. Nevertheless it does have a present application. The command that God gave Adam and Eve to care for his creation is still in effect today. Though I don’t consider myself a “tree-hugger” it bothers me that as believers we so easily contaminate our environment and take lightly the conservation of God’s creation. We can expect such behaviour from those who don’t care what God thinks, but something different should characterize those who claim to care very much about what God thinks and wants.
The verse from Chronicles reminds us that none of what we abuse so freely belongs to us. We are only caretakers. The verse also reminds us of Who the Owner is. Like all employees, at some point we will face Almighty God for our performance review. That might be something to think about the next time, for example, we toss a styrofoam cup in the trash.