The very first thing the Bible tells us, in Genesis 1:1-2, is that God created the heavens and the earth. Later in the chapter (1: 31), Scripture tells us that His creation brought Him good pleasure.
We Are Earth’s Stewards
Everything God does is primarily to reveal His glory, but it is also for the benefit of those He loves, which is everyone. One of those things is His creation of earth. In the first part of Genesis 1:28, God tells Adam and Eve, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it.”
One of God’s many gifts to us is our land. Earth is crucial to our very livelihood, as it houses food, such as fruits, vegetables and meats for us to eat. It also produces water, which we could not live without consuming.
It is clear to see that earth is quite valuable to God, not only because He created it with His very hands. He also values it because it sustains life for the created beings He loves most – you and me.
He has given us the responsibility to plant the food, raise the animals and keep the water clean, all for our own good and sustenance. But, the most important way we can maintain His creation is through spiritual preservation – investing our time, money and other resources into things of eternal significance: souls.
While God takes pleasure in our stewardship of His creation, He wants us to take care of one another first. We must be careful not to place more importance on plants and animals than on human life. And we must refrain from giving nature God’s rightful place in our lives – the center of our worship.
In the second part of Genesis 1:28, God tells Adam and Eve to “Rule over the fish of the sea and of the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
As humans, we are created in God’s image. No other living being – no plant or animal – has this quality. So, as we bear this divine image given to us, we are to rule over God’s created order.
While this does not give us the right to destroy the earth through carelessness, this passage contradicts the school of thought by some conservationists that humans have no dominion over nature, that humans and nature have equal footing. Furthermore, we are blatantly told in Matthew 6:26 that God values us more than His own creation:
“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?”
As believers in Christ, we are heirs and stewards of the beautiful creation God has given us. But, we also need to live in a way that is consistent with God’s heart and mind. Human beings are much more of a precious resource to God than the rest of His physical creation.
Besides, “Christ died for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8). That is the ultimate indicator of our value. To God, we are worth the life of his perfect Son.
*All Scripture references are taken from the New American Standard Bible.
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