Protecting His Fingerprints by Julian Archer
Presidents, Prime Ministers, and politicians all encourage us to care for the environment, but shouldn’t Christians be exempt? The Bible clearly and repeatedly tells us that this old world is soon to pass away and that ‘Earth 2.0’—the final, beautiful, eternal version—will take its place. God Himself is going to destroy every river, forest, mountain, and meadow. He’s going to burn it all up literally. Surely that must be the ultimate reason for us to care less about the environment today?
God’s people are called to be faithful stewards of the time, talents and treasures that He entrusts to us, and there’s great joy in doing so. However, an additional beauty of our lives is that we were also appointed as the stewards of all Creation. We were given the role of ‘stewards of creation’ before we were even created! In Genesis 1:26, which comes immediately after the creation of the animals and prior to the creation of humans, we read, “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” After announcing our stewardship role then God created us.
And what a privilege it is to care for an environment so thoroughly covered with God’s fingerprints. From the delicate scent of a tiny flower to the grandeur of a lightning storm crackling across majestic mountains, we see God’s hand, His character, His love. And just as every opening bud reveals God’s love it also reminds us that we are to be stewards of His love, the love that He reveals through His creation. Caring for creation could even be described as an act of gratitude, or even an act of worship for our Creator. Nature is not God, but He reveals His love to humanity through it, and by protecting the environment we are protecting a channel through which God reveals Himself to the world.
We mustn’t be surprised that our environment is decaying rapidly as this is an unavoidable result of the entry of sin. The decay was also prophesied in places like Psalms 102:25-26 where we read, “Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment.” Unfortunately, we’re speeding up the ‘waxing old,’ the decay, because we often consume more than we should and don’t protect creation as faithfully as we could. But even with all the degradation creation is still the most beautiful thing this side of the ozone layer!
It’s a wonderful certainty that Earth 2.0 is coming soon. And even sooner than that, I’m going to be given a new Body 2.0, but that doesn’t mean I should pollute the one I’ve already got. My body is God’s temple, and I’m to care for it faithfully. The environment is God’s handiwork, and we are to care for it, preserve and protect it with equal dedication.
God’s signature is scribed across all the earth. His character, His love, His very fingerprints are visible on every created thing. So let’s be faithful stewards, of everything.
Julian Archer is the author of Help! I've Been Blessed! He writes from Queensland, Australia. www.faith-vs-finance.org