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We live in a world of extremes, of religious zealotry and secular mindsets.
The religious zealot does not hesitate to make known his devotion to his deity. “I’ve loved God all my life,” he asserts, and will do anything to prove it—even massacre unbelievers. He ignores passages such as Romans 3: “There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one” (vs. 10-12).
At the other extreme is the secularist. He looks down upon religion, especially the Holy Bible, and deems it archaic opium for non-thinking people. Blissfully ignorant of God’s Word, the secular mind proudly proclaims, “We evolved,” and therefore owe no allegiance to a Divine Maker who would presumably know exactly how His creation should behave. No need (the thinking goes) for living by “strict codes” of conduct established by a Being we cannot detect with our physical senses. To the secularist, all things spiritual and scriptural are foolish.
Somewhere in between—or perhaps we should say, above and beyond—these opposing mindsets is the mind of the true God, reflected in His Word, the Bible. Both secularists and religious zealots would be surprised to learn this ancient Book has much to say about the environment, which God has charged human beings to “dress” and “keep” (Gen. 2:15)—that is, to “serve, till, work, labor” the land and to “guard, preserve and protect” it.
Even those who have never opened a Bible are aware that the ancient Israelites were once a slave nation that God delivered from Egypt, and that He established them in Canaan, the Promised Land. There Israel started from scratch. God gave them laws, statutes and judgments that formed their society and would have (if diligently practiced across the land) transformed Israel into a model nation for all the surrounding kingdoms and peoples to copy (Deut. 4:5-7).
Among these laws were regulations that governed agriculture, livestock, sanitation and other areas necessary for the survival and success of an agrarian society.
Sanitation and quarantine laws kept sickness and disease among the Israelites from breaking out into pandemics.
Laws governing farming and the environment prevented the land from being overworked, thus preserving the soil’s nutrients and preventing future generations from mass starvation. With these laws was the practice of gleaning, which helped each citizen to be “his brother’s keeper,” while also preventing the nation from becoming a welfare state. Citizens took responsibility for their personal economic situation, while looking out for the needs of the downtrodden. Receiving assistance from others was not viewed as a “civic right.”
Laws regulating urban living—such as prohibiting cramped and overcrowded communities—kept neighborhoods from degrading into slums.
Laws regarding the consumption of animals promoted good health.
Extremists put environment and wildlife before man. Those who abuse earth’s natural resources put the cares of today ahead of preserving the environment for future generations. But the laws with which ancient Israel was established benefited both the people and their surroundings—for the present and the future.
Yet Israel rejected them—and no wonder, for man has long rejected his Maker and His laws, which would bring success, prosperity and peace.
Human beings are prolific at inventing various competing pet theories and “solutions.” At best, some of these humanly devised ideas only delay the inevitable; at worst, they hasten suffering the consequences for making decisions that need divine direction.
Even if governments, nations and organizations worked together to solve the problem of the environment and earth’s natural resources, history teaches that the result would be disastrous. Whether it is education, poverty, war, man—of himself—cannot solve the problems that plague him.
Because “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24), and “Your law is the truth” (Psa. 119:142)—yet “the carnal mind is enmity [hostile] against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8:7).
From atheists and agnostics to fervent, yet scripturally ignorant, religionists—all have rejected the plain understanding that comes from the supreme mind of God. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do His commandments” (Psa. 111:10).
Amos 3:3 asks, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” No, they cannot! Humanly conceived governments, societies and systems, which compete, debate and bicker among themselves, have never been able to perfectly “walk together” in solving man’s problems. They all eventually corrupt themselves and break down. Only a perfect government—one that will never corrupt, never render perverse decisions, never put self-gain above the needs of the people and the land on which they live—will solve humanity’s problems as well as preserve generations to come!
Since such a government will not and cannot come from fallible, imperfect people, then from where?
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isa. 9:6-7).
Other articles in this series:
Lessons From Easter Island
The collapse of this small Polynesian island stands as a stark reminder to those exploiting the earth’s natural resources.
The Coming War for Earth’s Resources – How It Will Change the World!
Consider activities most take for granted, particularly those who live in industrialized nations: drinking a glass of water; driving a car or traveling by mass transportation; living in a decent house or apartment; using modern household appliances; using tools to build, fix and repair; even breathing fresh air. These activities improve our quality of life. Indeed, some are vital to our very existence.
Is Going Green the Answer?
Severe drought, global food shortages, strip-mining, the destruction of rainforests—these are a few of the issues raised by the green movement.
God’s Word also states, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholds him with His hand. I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Psa. 37:23-25).
In Matthew 6, Jesus Christ assured, “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? Or, What shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?…for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek you first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness [Psa. 119:172]; and all these things shall be added unto you” (vs. 31-33).
In the meantime, man continues to address problems with faulty solutions, all while ignoring the One Source that could guide him in the right direction. “The way of peace they know not,” God declares, “and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goes therein shall not know peace. Therefore is judgment far from us, neither does justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men” (Isa. 59:8-10).
But humanity does not need to stumble about in spiritual darkness, unable to make correct decisions that determine human behavior and its impact upon society. To learn more, read our booklet Why Man Cannot Solve His Problems.