C. How else can we benefit from the wilderness? Think of personal answers from first class.
2. Creation worships God (Rev. 5:13). By acting as good stewards to it and demonstrating care to his creation, we can show love and worship towards God.
3. The existence of creation gives us a chance to witness to others about God.
We are part of Creation and cannot live without it but creation can exist without us.
Genesis 1:28 referring to subdue and have dominion over the creation does not give us a right to exploit the earth. A more proper interpretation is the reign of a righteous king. Christ is an example.
We cannot rule over something if we drive it to extinction.
Genesis 2:15 referring to the tending and taking care of the garden creates an affirmative obligation to protect and guard creation. Gardens will not prosper without care. Righteous lordship also means allowing creation to fulfill its command to be fruitful even if it means some cost to us. Again, Christ is the example
Genesis 2:17 also says the earth has been cursed but this is because of man’s sin but because it is evil. Thus, this is not an excuse to abuse the earth.
These passages must also be read together with the concept of stewardship. Perhaps the highest obligation in the law is that of a trustee or fiduciary. Something is entrusted to that person whom they do not own yet which they are to take care of. This is a concept closely linked to grace.
All of this reminds us that only God has the power to give life, sustain it or redeem it. We have the power to husband it and to exercise of dominion. We who were created in God’s image should imitate his redeeming quality for the sake of all creatures and be the visible image of the invisible God. Christ is the example for us. A life of service and sacrifice
Noahic Covenant-God promised he would not destroy creation because of humans and lifted the curse from the land. Humans were not at the center of this promise. Animals were given the fear of Humans.
Abrahamic Covenant- God gives the land to the Hebrew nation. The gift was a reflection of the intimacy between man and God (like an inheritance) but was given with conditions. God retained ownership. Humans were like tenants.
The land was to be used responsibly, be given rest and be used to benefit others as well as future generations (1 Chr. 28:8)
The wilderness reflects God’s glory and is a place where people in the Old Testament go to meet and learn about God, have their faith tested and presents us with opportunities to worship him and witness for him.
The Hebrews ended up spending 40 years in the wilderness for a trip that should have taken 11 days because of their disobedience.
Note: As Christians we have an obligation to make our choices with compassionate concern for our neighbors next door, down stream or down wind and for future generations. Technology can make our life easier and more comfortable and even more profitable but also makes it possible for us to devastate creation not just across the street or down the road but clear across the other side of the world.
While it may be tempting to ignore information about the possible effects of our actions and lifestyles upon others, it is sinful to do so especially now knowing that the ability of technology to cause harm to our neighbors life and their livelihood. The increase in potential harm and the increased knowledge of these impacts increases our responsibility to consider this information.
II. Keeping the Commands-The land was an intimate gift and the bible has images of a safe home.
A. Lev. 26:3- If you keep my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rain in its season and the ground will yield crops and the trees of the field their fruit…you will eat all of the food you want and live in safety in your land.
B. Lev. 26:6- I will grant you peace in the land and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove the savage beasts from the land and the sword will not pass through your country. “
C. Lev. 26:10- You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new.
D. Lev. 26:11-12 I will put my dwelling place among you and…. I will walk among you.
E. Deut 8:7- “For the Lord, your God, is bringing you into a good land-a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills, a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees…a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper in the hills.”
F. Deut 8:17: “You may say to yourself “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me” But remember the Lord your God for it is he who gives you the ability to produce growth and so confirms his covenant.”
G. Deut 8:12- “It is the land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.”