“Where is God in this era of climate change?” That’s the question I found myself asking last week after reading yet another sad report on the state of the earth, and how we’re doomed if we do nothing. Environmental news lately has been nothing but worrying. With every piece of news I read, I think twice about my work as an environmentalist, I get overwhelmed by all that we have to do to save planet earth and scared that I’ll be alive to see the world come to an end because of our own selfishness.
As a believer in God through Jesus Christ, I believe that He owns the world and everything in it and I believe that nothing happens without His knowledge. That means, He knows when the sun’s becoming too hot for us and He’s aware when we have no rain. He knows about plastic pollution and everything that ruins Mother Earth. I also believe that God is able to end climate change. He can. But why doesn’t He? Let’s see what the Bible has to say about this.
If you want to know the mind of God on anything under the sky, look for it in the Bible. The Bible is God’s mind in print. In Galatians 5:7, the Bible says:
“Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”
You don’t need a pastor to explain what this verse means. When God created the universe, He created systems under which the earth would function. He also created man in His own image, and asked him to take care of the land. In addition to this, He gave him the ability to rule over the earth. That’s why man is the fiercest of all creatures. With the ability to create just like God, man has been able to create most of what we see on the earth. However, in his creating, he’s also been destroying. And because God keeps His word, just as we have reaped from our good creations, so will we reap from our bad creations.
Consequences of bad behaviour
Climate change is thus a consequence of our bad behaviour. We cannot cut down trees and expect rains to fall. We cannot pollute rivers and expect to have clean water to drink. Neither can we pollute the air and expect to inhale a breath of fresh air. We’re getting what we deserve for God is just. In God, there’s no injustice.
But even with this, God is still merciful. It could have been so much worse. The fact that we’re still alive to do something about it shows us that God is indeed merciful. In order to change the state of our environment, we must begin to do what we ought to do. If we stop engaging in practices that harm the environment, the environment will heal. If we plant trees, the rains will fall. If we manage our waste properly, pollution can be past tense, etc. If we continue seeking for solutions, God will give us wisdom to find them. God gives wisdom as He does the rain: to believers and non-believers if they ask. Eventually, we will reap what we will sow.
God is merciful
Believers in Christ have profound favour in God’s eyes. In Genesis 18, we read that God was willing to spare the city of Sodom and Gomorrah if He found 10 righteous people in it. For the sake of 10 righteous people, He was willing to save an entire city. God is still as merciful. And maybe for the believers’ sakes, He might spare the earth and heal our land. But, while it’s important to pray, prayer alone won’t be enough. God doesn’t multiply zero. It’s important that our actions communicate our intentions, whether we believe in God or not. After all, God is sovereign and has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy.
So, where is God in this era of climate change? He’s right here with us waiting for us to do our part so that He can do His, and all for His glory!
Image: Catholic Earthcare Australia