Summary: This sermon addresses God’s concern and redemption of the earth as well as man’s obligation as care-taker / steward.
Is God Green?*
Sermon Objective: To show God’s concern and redemption of the earth as well as man’s obligation as care-taker.
Supporting Scripture: Genesis 1-2; Genesis 6:11-12; Exodus 23:10-11; Leviticus 18:26, 28; Leviticus 25-26; Numbers 35:33-34; Deuteronomy 20:19; Psalm 8:3-8; Psalm 19; Isaiah 11:1-9; Isaiah 24:4-6; Isaiah 35:1-2; Isaiah 55:12-13; Isaiah 65:17-23; Hosea 4:1-3; Romans 1:20; Romans 8:19-23; Colossians 1:15-20; Revelation 21:1, 5
When I bought my truck, many years ago, a friend asked to borrow it to pick up some furniture they had purchased. When I got the truck back the gas gauge was on empty, some of the radio presets were changed, and there were surface scratches on rear quarter panel and the tail gate.
It was an expensive truck and only three months old. As you can imagine I was rather disappointed. Most of my disappointment was because someone who called themselves my friend showed such disregard for my property.
Rev 11:15The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever." 16And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17saying: "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.
Rev 11:18The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. 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."
“The time has … for destroying those who destroy the earth.”
Interesting. It seems our Heavenly Father also gets a bit perturbed at those who show disregard for his property too.
In the beginning, God, creates the heavens and the earth. The earth begins as a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, or as some like to say “without form and void.” But God’s Spirit moved above all of this, and the voice of God begins speaking the worlds into existence. Light and darkness, water and sky, land and plants, stars and planets, fish and birds, and land animals.
And then, God speaks “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature, so they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of the Earth.” Rather than just speaking humanity into being, God forms and molds humanity from the earth itself, connecting man and woman to the ground from which they are formed. Genesis calls the earth “adamah” and the first man “adam.” These words emphasize humanity’s identity as part of creation. Consider this: if Genesis were translated in English to illustrate the closeness of this connection, God might call the first man “earthling.”
God endows earthlings with a special gift and calling: humanity reflects God’s very own nature and bears the Divine image by creating and cultivating life.
God speaks to them saying: “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill the Earth! Take charge! Be responsible for the fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of the Earth.” “Take Care” (Genesis 2:15) = is the Hebrew word, “Shamar” and means protect, attend to, or watch over. THEY ARE NEVER GRANTED PERMISSION TO EXPLOIT OR DAMAGE THE EARTH.
But things do not stay this simple; humanity decides not to follow Gods orders. Adam and Eve violate the instruction of God, and their mistake leads to the corruption of the earth. Their disobedience curses the earth.
Genesis 3:17-19 reads, “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
When they have children, Cain and Able, and Able is murdered by Cain, and the blood that is shed causes a curse on the ground again.
By the time of Noah (in Genesis 5), things get so out of control that God sees his creation as ruined. So God decides that things must be made right. There needs to be a clean sweep, a new start of the earth, a recreation if you will, to purge the earth of its wickedness. God decides that the one good man, his family, and two of all the living animals on the earth will begin again as new and good. A flood is sent to fulfill the chaos that has taken over the earth, and from this chaos of rain and rushing waters, God once again brings order. His chosen few have survived on a boat, an ark, and when they step out of it, God intends for them to fulfill humanity’s first calling as image-bearers of God: the creation and cultivation of life.