The Earth was created by the Lord God. The Earth, and everything in it, belongs to Him.
The following Scripture passages will prove my above statements to be true:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
“Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it.” (Deuteronomy 10:14)
“The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains,
The world, and those who dwell in it.” (Psalm 24:1)
“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:16-17)
As you can see, the Earth does not belong to us. It is the Lord’s Creation. And we must care for it. At the time of Creation, the Lord placed man in the garden to care for it.
“Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15)
The keyword in that passage is “cultivate”. Cultivate is a transitive verb. A definition of it is “to improve by labor, care, or study”.
The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew. A translation from the original Hebrew word is “nurture”. If you nurture something, you care for it and see that it does well. You do not intentionally do anything to pollute or destroy it.
"God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)
Notice that here God says to “subdue” the Earth. And also notice that the words pollute or destroy are not part of the text. “Subdue” is a transitive verb. It is defined as “to conquer and bring into subjection”, and “to bring (land) under cultivation”. Again, there is nothing in the definition of “subdue” that says pollute or destroy.
The Hebrew word for “subdue” in that passage is “kabash”. Which translates as “subdue”, or “bring into bondage”. Once again, there is no mention of polluting or destroying.
Why do people pollute and destroy God’s creation? Is it something as simple as a lack of caring? Maybe a lack of appreciation for what we have been given? Or economic reasons?
“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt
“To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.” ― Theodore Roosevelt
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established on December 2, 1970 under the administration of Richard Nixon. (Yes, THAT Nixon). It’s purpose was to do just what it’s name says. That is to protect the environment. And the agency has done the best job they could do under the constraints they have.
The Trump administration has been systematically gutting the EPA. Including protections for clean water. A case in point is the Pebble mine in Alaska. The proposed mine is located in the watershed that protects one of the last and largest Sockeye Salmon runs in the world.
After Alaskan governor Mike Dunleavy met with President Trump on Air Force One, protections for the Salmon runs were removed. See the hyperlink below for more information:
Our bodies are made up of 60% water. Clean water for us to drink is not a luxury. It is necessary to sustain life. That means that everyone should be fighting to protect it. Not exploiting or polluting it in the name of profits.
“And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to DESTROY THOSE WHO DESTROY THE EARTH.” (Revelation 11:18, emphasis added is mine)
That is a pretty sobering prophetic warning. Those who destroy the Earth will bring God’s wrath upon themselves. And they will be destroyed. One cannot destroy God’s Creation and not suffer any consequences.
I would like to ask you a hypothetical question: If you borrowed an item from your neighbor, would you misuse and destroy it before you returned it? No, you would not. You would do whatever you could to return the item to your neighbor in the same condition in which you received it.
The Earth does not belong to us. It belongs to the Lord. So why would one destroy it before returning it to the Lord? We are merely stewards of the Earth. So let us all do what we can to defend and protect it.
The Steadfast Watchman