Summary: There is alot of discussion, today, about Man’s proper relationship to the environment. This is a study of some truths found in God’s Word that might help us formulate a godly viewpoint on Man’s relationship to Nature.
Man and Nature
Since the 1960s, there has been a lot of controversy as to Man’s relationship to the environment and nature. There has grown a movement that seeks to place the value of the environment above the needs of Man. This is a reaction on the part of some to those who exploit the environment for Man’s greedy and materialistic pursuits.
This morning, I would like for us to examine some truths found in God’s Word that might help us formulate a godly viewpoint on Man’s relationship to Nature.
Truth #1 Man Is NOT Just Another Animal Specie in Nature, But A Unique Creature Made In The Image of God, Crowned With Glory And Majesty!
Genesis 1:27, “And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” All God’s creatures glorify Him by their very existence, but only one is able to worship and serve Him by an act of the will.
Psalm 8:4-5, “What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him? And the son of man, that Thou dost care for him? Yet Thou hast made him a little lower than God, And dost crown him with glory and majesty!”
Truth #2 God Has Given Dominion Over All The Earth And Its Life-forms To Mankind.
Psalms 115:16, “The heavens are the heavens of the LORD; But the earth He has given to the sons of men.”
Psalms 8:6, “Thou dost make him to rule over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet.”
Man Is To Fill The Earth And Subdue It.
Genesis 1:28, “And God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue (Heb. Kabash - bring it into subjection) it.”
All Vegetation Has Been Given For Man’s Use; Primarily, As A Food-Source For Himself And Animal Life.
Genesis 1:29-30, “Then God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food;’ and it was so.”
Man Is Directed To Cultivate The Land According To His Needs.
Genesis 2:15; 3:23, “Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep (Heb. Shamar - to keep, preserve, protect) it….Therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.” Man’s rule and dominion over the earth is that of a steward or a caretaker, not a reckless exploiter.
All Animal Life Is Under Man’s Rulership And Meant For His Use.
Genesis 1:26, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’"
Psalm 8:6-8, “Thou dost make him to rule over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen, And also the beasts of the field, The birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.”
Genesis 9:1-2, “And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And the fear of you and the terror of you shall be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given.’”
Animals Are Meant To Be A Food-Source For Man.
Genesis 9:3, "Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.”
Romans 14:2-3, “One man has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. Let not him who eats regard with contempt him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats, for God has accepted him.”
1 Timothy 4:1-5, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”