A Thought for Earth Day 2011: The Groaning of the Earth | 18 Apr 11, Joe Sucher

Have you ever heard someone groaning in pain? If you listen close, you just might hear the Earth groaning...

Have you ever heard someone groaning in pain? If you listen close, you just might hear the Earth groaning. It seems that the frequency of severe weather conditions and natural disasters has increased in the last decade or so. Experts debate over how many of these things can be attributed to global warming. Some Christians even attribute these things to the judgment of God. Do the Scriptures say anything about these things? Is the Earth and all that live on it doomed to destruction? Is there anything we can or should do about it?


Let me start by saying that I have always been a nature lover and I have always been a pollution hater. As a child I loved playing outdoors, exploring the beauty and diversity of plants and animals.  As a teenager, I loved going camping and spelunking. I was sixteen in 1970, when the first Earth Day was observed. I was no scientist, but I knew it was not right to find all sorts of trash even in the woods. I knew it was not good to choke on the fumes of trucks and cars. I knew it wasn't good for companies to dump chemicals into the rivers and lakes. I did not understand about the effects of fossil fuels or greenhouse gases,  but I did believe that human beings were responsible for damaging the very environment necessary to maintain life. They were polluting it, and that pollution would have negative effects upon the health and well being of all plants and animals.


Although all these things hurt the Earth and can have terrible consequences, they are not the cause of its "groaning". The Earth started groaning a long time before modern man's pollution.  Pollution of the Earth began with the first humans and so did the "groaning." What will stop the Earth's groaning? Once again, the Bible says the answer is the human race.


The Scriptures make it clear that God created everything that exists, which of course, includes the Earth. It also makes it clear that He made human beings from the dust of the Earth. He made them to care for the earth and rule over it. He also made human beings to have an intimate relationship with Him and converse with Him. Everything on Earth was in complete harmony. That harmony was totally disrupted by the worst environmental disaster of all, unbelief and disobedience. That first couple decided to believe the words of Satan rather than the words of God. In making that choice, our early ancestors chose to come under the rulership of evil rather than the rulership of the Creator. Consequently, since the Creator had given them rule over the whole earth and all creatures in it, the entire Earth came under the rulership of evil and was cursed. This curse caused all creation to "groan" and that groaning won't stop until the sons of God are revealed. (Romans 8: 18-25)


The Bible makes it plain that the Earth we know now will not last forever. It compares the Earth to a garment that will wear out and be replaced. (Hebrews 1:10-12)

The Apostle Peter, tells us that that the Earth is reserved for a judgment of fire. It will be purged and renovated. God's children can look forward to a new heavens and earth.

(II Peter 3:4-16)


So, if the Earth is doomed to destruction, why should we bother trying to improve the environment? If we look at everything that same way, why should we bother to wash our cars or clean the house. It's all going to be burned up one day.Well, the truth is, we don't know when God is going to renovate the Earth by fire. In the meantime, we are to walk in love, and that means being kind to other people who are alive today and to the generations to come. We have a responsibility to pass on to succeeding generations a healthier environment than we have now. But to do this, we not only need to "live green", we need to "live clean" as well. Our natural environment is in an unhealthy, degrading condition, but even worse than all that is the condition of our "moral and spiritual environment." The unbelief and disobedience of the human race has serious consequences for the world we live in today. Peter tells us to live holy, godly lives. We can only do that by believing God's word, repenting of our sin, being born again of God's Spirit, and continuing to walk in God's ways. We must continue to pray "Your kingdom come, your will be done IN EARTH as it is in heaven."


Yes, it is true that there will be no perfection here on Earth, neither physically or spiritually until Jesus Christ returns. However, He has made provision for us to "occupy " until He returns. He has given us His Spirit so we can walk in His love and His power and proclaim the truth of who He is and what He has done so people can live abundantly in this present life and be prepared for the future day of judgment. He is calling everyone to "live clean" as well as "green".













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