Monday, April 22, 2024

Earth Day

 

Earth Day—Principles That Go Back To Genesis?

 Bodie Hodge, M.Sc., B.Sc., PEI

Biblical Authority Ministries, April 22, 2024

Happy “Dominion over the Earth” Day as it should be (or simply “Earth Day”). Today is a “holiday” where people use their God-given dominion to declare a day to honor and consider the way we, as mankind, live on earth.

Whether people realize it or not, this goes back to Genesis—though the “holiday” itself is new. The principles are found in Genesis. A ruling God made man in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27[1]). Thus, He gave us something to rule over. In Genesis 1:28[2], God gave man and woman (man collectively) dominion over creation—the earth, the animals and so on.

Dominion means to look after the earth and care for it but use it in responsible ways. In the same way, if a parent gives a new bicycle or vehicle their child, that child now has dominion to rule over it. In doing that, they take care of it, maintain it, but also use it—for good.

Historically, man broke God’s law and sinned and rebelled against God (Genesis 3). God cursed the dominion of man which directly resulted the animals and the ground being cursed (i.e., the earth). Man was also sentenced to die. The world is broken, which means we have to work extra hard to work the ground (Genesis 3:17-19[3]) and take care of the earth.

In our culture, sadly, we have people who reject God and reject that we are made in God’s image and want to replace those concepts with secular ideas. Like the pagans of old, they want to worship the creation instead of the Creator (e.g., Romans 1:25[4]). They want to worship the earth and ourselves instead of God.

Our sin against God, which includes these errors, have eternal consequences—an eternal Heaven or Hell (Daniel 12:2[5])! The earth can’t save you and you can’t save the earth in any eternal way. It is God who can do that (e.g., John 5:24[6], 6:40[7]). He promised to make a new heaven and a new earth (collectively call “Heaven”; Isaiah 65:17[8]; 2 Peter 3:13[9]; Revelation 21:1[10]), but while we remain in this sin-cursed and broken world, we are still to exercise a caring dominion over it.

Do I like clean water, clean air, recycling, using technology to make cleaner coal, using technology to make renewable oil, and blend with clean energy based on new technologies? Of course. However, we need to make sure we don’t do it at the expense of attacking humanity and worshipping nature (e.g., the climate cult, environmentalism, etc.). These false religions can lead many astray. There needs to be a balance when it comes to using the earth responsibly.

Did you notice that I put “holiday” in quotes earlier in reference to Earth Day? A holiday is a Holy Day, which is predicated on a Holy God existing and making things holy (that is, sanctified and pure). So, can those who reject a holy God really have anything holy? Not consistently! As image bearers, we mimic a holy God when we develop holidays. For instance, there is man-made holiday developed between the Old and New Testament (e.g., the Festival of Lights/Feast of Dedication/Hannukah). Jesus attended, which shows us a freedom we have in the Lord to make new holidays.

God prescribed certain holidays in the Bible and one of them (Passover) happens to start today (on April 22, 2024—FYI Passover tends to move around a little on our modern Gregorian calendar). Passover is a type and shadow of the Lord’s crucifixion and resurrection where Jesus Christ was offered once for all as our unblemished, eternal Passover lamb/sacrifice (1 Corinthians 5:7[11]). It is only through the blood of Jesus Christ that we can be saved for all eternity and enjoy a new heavens and new earth in a perfect state enjoying God’s goodness forever.

I hope you not only ponder how man uses the earth currently; but seek to understand how this earth is broken due to sin. In light of this, I would also love for you to consider how we can be saved in Jesus Christ and thereby look forward to a new earth in a perfect state forever.  





[1] Genesis 1:26-27 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.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. NKJV.

[2] Genesis 1:28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” NKJV.

[3] Genesis 3:17-19 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life.  Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.” NKJV

[4] Romans 1:25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. NKJV.

[5] Daniel 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt. NKJV.

[6] John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. NKJV

[7] John 6:40 “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” NKJV.

[8] Isaiah 65:17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. NKJV.

[9] 2 Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. NKJV.

[10] Revelation 21:1 Revelation 21:1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. NKJV.

[11] 1 Corinthians 5:7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. NKJV.

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