Why Not Try This? …Explore the Bible Evidence for Balanced Environmentalism

I was sitting at the breakfast table reflecting on the day ahead when the back of the cereal box grabbed my attention. “Save the World” the big headlines shouted.

“That’s my mission” I almost said out loud. Between spoonfuls I began reflecting. “That’s why Jesus came to this earth. As His followers our mission is to cooperate with Him in saving the world. This cereal box has reminded me of what is really important for me to do today.”

Then I noticed the next sentence. “Save the World…One tree at a time.” What? Shouldn’t it say “Save the World…One person at a time”?

Is our mission as Adventists to save people or to save trees? Or are both included in our mission? What position should we as Adventists take in the growing debate about the environment?

Should we identify with former US Vice President Al Gore, who says the planet is about to be destroyed by human-caused global warming, or with radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who says there is no such thing as human-caused global warming? Or is there middle ground somewhere?[i]

What have other church organizations added to this discussion recently?

  • Baptist- Al Gore was named “Baptist of the Year” for 2007 by EthicsDaily.com, the Web site of the Baptist Center for Ethics. Robert Parham, the center’s executive director, noted “He has refused to be distracted by the character-assassins, the fear-mongers, the science-deniers and the merchants of short-term gain. He has remained faithful to his mission of protecting the earth and its inhabitants.”[ii]
  • Roman Catholic- During his Christmas midnight mass 2007 Pope Benedict XVI referred to the “ill-treated world” and expanded on the theme briefly by saying that an 11th-century theologian, Anselm of Canterbury, had spoken “in an almost prophetic way” as he “described a vision of what we witness today as a polluted world whose future is at risk.” The New York Times points out that “Benedict has spoken out increasingly about environmental concerns, and the Vatican has even purchased ‘carbon offsets,’ credits on the global market to compensate for carbon dioxide emissions, for the energy consumed in the world’s smallest state, Vatican City.”[iii]
  • The National Council of Churches USA in 2005 wrote an open letter to the public titled, “God’s Earth is Sacred: An Open Letter to Church and Society in the United States” which included this statement “We have listened to a false gospel that we continue to live out in our daily habits — a gospel that proclaims that God cares for the salvation of humans only and that our human calling is to exploit Earth for our own ends alone. This false gospel still finds its proud preachers and continues to capture its adherents among emboldened political leaders and policy makers.”[iv]
  • Ted Haggard, in 2005, when President of the National Association of Evangelicals (which oversees 45,000 congregations with 30 million church members nationwide) led the organization’s leaders into greater awareness by stating “Environmental issues have been traditionally trumpeted by liberal groups. And isn’t that ironic? Here you have the environmentalists who believe in evolution and that species can evolve, on the one side, and the Christian groups who believe in Creationism, that what is here [on Earth] is all there is. We should be the ones involved.”[v]
  • The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has an Environmental Justice Ministries[vi]
  • The Episcopal Church, as part of their Peace and Justice Ministries, has offered a statement and resources on Environmental Stewardship[vii]
  • Steven Bouma-Prediger, a religion professor at Hope College, affiliated with the Reformed Church in America, published a thorough “Christian vision for creation care” in the book “For the Beauty of the Earth” in 2001. The book examines Bible passages, theological doctrines, ethical positions and apologetics in relationship to current research and conversations regarding Christians and why they should be pro-active in creation care.[viii]
  • “Casting Crowns,” a popular Christian music group, worries that in the United States “we’re sung to sleep by philosophies that save the trees and kill the children.”[ix]

As Seventh-day Adventists we issued a brief “Statement on the Environment” in 1995.[x] And recently there have been articles in the Adventist Review that address this subject.[xi] But our ultimate source for God’s wisdom is, of course, the Bible.

    

Twelve Bible Truths about the Environment 

  • 1. God is the Creator and Owner of this earth. He created a perfect world in the beginning without any human help.[xii] He owns the earth and everything in it.[xiii] When mankind thinks he is the owner of any part of the earth he is in danger of having everything he has taken away.[xiv]Some day He will create a perfect new heavens and earth.[xv]

    

  • 2. Mankind has a clear God-given role in relating to the earth. Both male and female were created in God’s image by God Himself.[xvi] This is why the death penalty was later instituted for any human or animal that killed a person created in God’s image.[xvii]Mankind was told by God to be fruitful and increase in numbers till they filled the earth.[xviii] This command was repeated after most of the human race was destroyed by the flood.[xix] Mankind was to be in charge of the earth to manage it well[xx] even though it would be much more difficult and painful after sin entered the picture.[xxi] The original diet God gave mankind was fruits, grains, nuts[xxii] and later vegetables.[xxiii] Only after all these food sources were destroyed in the flood did God allow mankind to eat animals, and this was permitted only within clearly defined boundaries.[xxiv] Marriage and family relations were an essential part of mankind’s role.[xxv] Recognizing that one was part of the web of humanity through his ancestry was an important way of having respect for future generations as well.[xxvi]

    

  • 3. God loves the animals He has created. Animals were created to be enjoyed, not killed. Animals were not part of God’s original food chain. On the fifth day of creation God created the animals of the waters and sky.[xxvii] On the sixth day God created the animals on land.[xxviii] He commanded the animals to be fruitful and to increase in numbers.[xxix] God said that all His animals were created “good” in the beginning.[xxx] The animals were to eat vegetation, not other animals, in the beginning.[xxxi] Animals were adversely affected by the sin of mankind, causing them to become predators and to be widely destroyed with humans in the flood.[xxxii] God instituted the sacrificial system with animals when Adam and Eve were sent out of the Garden of Eden.[xxxiii]The sacrificial system was most effective when a person really loved the animal that they put to death.[xxxiv] An animal sacrifice had to be at least eight days old and without any blemishes.[xxxv] This is what helped them recognize how terrible sin was and how wonderful the innocent, perfect, coming Messiah, prefigured by the innocent animal, was.[xxxvi] The sacrificial system lost its impact when animals were slaughtered in large numbers and were not the personal pets of those who sacrificed them.[xxxvii] God brought the animals into the ark to preserve them.[xxxviii] Immediately after the flood God made a covenant not only with Noah and his descendants but also with “every living creature.”[xxxix] Though animals could be eaten after the flood there were careful restrictions on how and which kinds could be eaten.[xl] Animals, as well as humans, were to be punished for murder.[xli] Work animals as well as humans were to enjoy the Sabbath rest.[xlii] At God’s direction animal skins were used to clothe Adam and Eve[xliii] and later to provide a covering for the wilderness sanctuary.[xliv] When an animal is working in the field it should be allowed to eat food as it is working.[xlv] God told Jonah He wanted to spare not only the people of Nineveh but the animals as well.[xlvi]God even keeps track of every sparrow, one of the most common birds on earth.[xlvii] Animals will not be part of God’s food chain in the New Earth because the predators have been tamed, not excluded.[xlviii]

    

  • 4. God provided trees, flowers and vegetation for both beauty and usefulness. On the third day of Creation God spoke the trees, flowers and vegetation into existence and “saw that it was good.”[xlix] The first home of mankind was a garden that God Himself planted.[l] After sin, mankind was excluded from the garden, particularly the Tree of Life.[li] In Song of Solomon love is frequently associated with a garden.[lii] Israel is promised a bright future where her wastelands will become like a garden.[liii] God makes His flowers more beautiful than any clothes that kings could ever wear.[liv] But as a result of sin all the beautiful flowers die, and serve as a reminder of the shortness of life for mankind as well.[lv] Wood from trees was used to make Noah’s ark[lvi] and later some of the structure and furnishings of the temple.[lvii] But trees were not to be cut indiscriminately, even if you were besieging the city of your enemies.[lviii] Many other lessons can be learned from the trees and flowers.[lix] During the annual festivals grains and other vegetation played a role in many of the activities.[lx] The Tree of Life is a dominant feature in the New Jerusalem,[lxi] and in the New Earth, what was once desert will again blossom as a garden.[lxii]

    

  • 5. God gives counsel on the use of His land and its jewels and minerals. God created dry ground on the third day of creation.[lxiii] Because of the sin of Adam and Eve God cursed the ground[lxiv] and finally totally covered it with water because of the sin of mankind. When God smelled the sacrifice Noah offered after the flood, He promised to never again curse the entire earth because of mankind.[lxv] On the other hand God drove Cain away from a portion of land because his brother Abel’s blood had been shed there,[lxvi] prefiguring the Canaanites being “vomited” out of the land of Canaan because of their sins.[lxvii]Farmland was not to be worked constantly but was to be left untilled every seventh, or sabbatical, year.[lxviii] When reaping the land owners were not to harvest right to the edge of the property but were to leave a little for the poor and the foreigner to gather for food.[lxix] Land that was sold was not to be permanently owned by the new owner but was to revert back to the seller’s family on the fiftieth, or Jubilee, year.[lxx] Not only the land but all the minerals and gems belong to God.[lxxi]He adorned Lucifer with gold and precious stones but Lucifer became proud and finally had to be cast out of heaven to earth.[lxxii] At God’s direction beautiful gold, silver and jewels were to be used inside the wilderness sanctuary[lxxiii] and on the sacred garments of the high priest.[lxxiv] In a similar way, Jesus, our High Priest,[lxxv] wants to send His Holy Spirit to adorn our bodies, the temple of the Holy Spirit,[lxxvi] with internal positive character qualities rather than external jewels.[lxxvii] Jewels were also seen as positive in the context of an engagement[lxxviii] or wedding.[lxxix] Pagan kings sometimes gave jewelry to indicate authority in the realm.[lxxx] But jewelry is often linked with immorality,[lxxxi] idolatry[lxxxii] covetousness[lxxxiii] and/or enslavement.[lxxxiv] When the Lord ultimately redeems His people they will sparkle like jewels in a crown[lxxxv] and He will place a golden crown on their heads[lxxxvi] and take them to a city with a street of gold,[lxxxvii] gates of pearls[lxxxviii] and foundations of precious stones.[lxxxix]

    

  • 6. The weekly Sabbath is God’s gift to mankind to remind us of Himself, His creation and His re-creative powers. God set aside the seventh day of creation in three special ways- He rested, blessed and sanctified or hallowed it.[xc] This same three part blessing is referred to in the fourth of the Ten Commandments.[xci] The seventh-day Sabbath was the first full day of Adam and Eve’s existence, and they spent it with their Creator in His creation.[xcii] Uninterrupted use of resources was not part of God’s plan. People and animals were to enjoy the seventh day Sabbath every week,[xciii] even during the busiest times of the year- planting and harvest.[xciv] Even the land was to enjoy rest from being worked every Sabbath and every seventh year.[xcv] When Jesus walked here on earth He spent many Sabbaths demonstrating His re-creative powers by restoring the bodies, minds and relationships of the sick and suffering.[xcvi] He says that the Sabbath remains as a sign of His power to provide for those who put their trust in Him.[xcvii]

    

  • 7. All God’s creation is interdependent, but God’s word recognizes a priority of value among the parts of creation. Each part of God’s perfect creation was supportive of the other parts.[xcviii] Mankind was to “dress and keep” the garden, enjoying the plant life as food.[xcix] The animals and birds find shelter in the trees and enjoy the fruit from them.[c] Among the parts of God’s creation He has established and reasserted a hierarchy of value-
    • a. He as Creator is the only One worthy of worship by all created things[ci]
    • b. Mankind was created in God’s image,[cii] a little lower than the angels and given responsibility to look after the things God had created.[ciii] He was to be fruitful and multiply in the marriage relationship.[civ] When mankind sinned, Jesus, the Creator, died for those sins.[cv]
    • c. Animals were created from the same earth as man,[cvi] but mankind was to have dominion over and care for them.[cvii] Mankind, whether native-born or foreigner, is of much more value than animals.[cviii]
    • d. Plant life is to be enjoyed for its beauty and eaten by animals and mankind for food.[cix]
    • e. The earth itself, cursed because of sin,[cx]is where mankind and animals return after death[cxi] until raised to life by Jesus, the Creator in one of the two resurrections.[cxii]

In our obedience to God we should reflect these same values. Our relationship with God must be vibrant and growing.[cxiii] Our relationship with every other human being, starting with our spouse and/or family members, must be free of bitterness and impurity and full of kindness.[cxiv] Our relationship with the animals should reflect care and concern for them.[cxv] Our relationship with plant life should demonstrate appreciation of beauty and gratitude toward God as the Provider.[cxvi] And we should continually look for lessons from all creation that show us insights into our Creator.[cxvii]

    

  • 8. Sin has caused a breakdown in all environmental relationships. When Adam and Eve put their trust in the serpent rather than God there was a break in their relationship with their Creator that had serious results.[cxviii] They were afraid of their Creator,[cxix] blamed each other and other created beings,[cxx] and disrupted the harmony on earth. Now the earth has a curse resting on it[cxxi] and humans,[cxxii] as well as the rest of creation, groan under the weight of sin.[cxxiii] Cause and effect relationships have been distorted[cxxiv] and often the Creator gets blamed for the activities of Satan and the effects of sin.[cxxv] We can still learn lessons from the beauties and workings of nature[cxxvi] but we cannot see the complete picture until God restores all things.[cxxvii]

    

  • 9. Jesus has provided redemption and reconciliation for all creation. Jesus, through His perfect life and perfect sacrifice on the cross, has provided a way for what was lost to be restored.[cxxviii] He has also provided a way for reconciliation to take place on earth and in the universe.[cxxix] The ultimate reconciliation will take place at the end of the thousand years, when the earth is cleansed by fire and a new heavenly atmosphere and new earth are created.[cxxx] At that time all created beings in the universe will praise God.[cxxxi] But we can have a taste of this reconciliation now. There is a hierarchy of reconciliation indicated in the Bible. First we must be reconciled to God so we can be reconciled to others and invite them to be reconciled to God.[cxxxii] Only then can we truly enjoy rather than simply exploit the rest of God’s creation.[cxxxiii] Placing a higher value on created things than the Creator causes many destructive results, including abandonment of marriage principles.[cxxxiv] When Jesus walked visibly on earth He showed a great appreciation for His creation and the lessons we can learn from it. He noticed when a sparrow fell.[cxxxv] He knew where the obedient fish were.[cxxxvi] He walked on water and stopped storms.[cxxxvii] He let us know that none of our clothes come close to the beauty of His flowers.[cxxxviii] His touch restored life to broken and decayed human flesh.[cxxxix] And no human was beneath His love, care and concern.[cxl] Those who claim to be His followers should live as He lived.[cxli]

    

  • 10. Jesus is the Sustainer of all creation and the Provider for all our needs. God deserves to be praised by animate and inanimate creation.[cxlii] He controls and manages the earth, from the tiniest atom to the tides of the ocean, from the common birds to the great ecosystems.[cxliii]As a consequence of mankind’s sin God sometimes allows Satan to cause destruction on this earth.[cxliv] But even Satan and his angels, and wicked people, owe their continued existence to the sustaining power of God.[cxlv] There will come a time when God will bring to an end Satan, his fallen angels and those who stubbornly refuse to accept His gift of eternal life.[cxlvi] The fire that devours Satan and the wicked will also cleanse the world of the effects of sin and help prepare it for its re-creation.[cxlvii] Until then we can trust Jesus and not worry because He will provide for all our needs.[cxlviii] God even provides sunshine and rain showers for people whether they are evil or righteous.[cxlix] He provides food for birds and animals as well.[cl] He is the Water of Life who quenches our thirst physically and spiritually.[cli] He has given us evidence of this throughout history, from the water provided on the second day of creation[clii] to the river with its four branches in the Garden of Eden[cliii] to the water from the rock in the wilderness[cliv]to the Brook Cherith that supplied Elijah during the three and a half years of famine[clv] to the River of Life in the New Jerusalem whose source is God’s throne.[clvi] He is the Light of the World who provides life and warmth physically and spiritually.[clvii] He has given us evidence of this throughout history as well, from the light provided on the first day of creation[clviii] to the sun and moon, with stars provided on the fourth day of creation[clix] to the pillars of cloud and fire that provided light and protection day and night for the Children of Israel in the wilderness[clx]to the sun standing still for Joshua during his battle with the Amorites[clxi] to the light that He Himself provides in the New Jerusalem so there is no need for the sun there.[clxii] He is the Bread of Life that gives us nourishment and life physically and spiritually.[clxiii] He has given us evidence of this throughout history, from the grains provided on the third day of creation[clxiv] to the manna which fed the Children of Israel forty years in the desert[clxv] to the bread brought by ravens to Elijah during his wilderness hiding[clxvi] to the bread of the communion service that reminds us of Jesus’ sacrifice.[clxvii] He has promised that our bread and water will be sure during times of trouble[clxviii] and that someday, those who are faithful to Him will be able to eat from the tree of life in the New Jerusalem.[clxix]

    

  • 11. God’s final message reminds us of God’s control of nature. Mankind in not on his own to find a solution to the problem of an earth headed for destruction.[clxx] God has a master plan for earth and it is mankind’s job to discover it and to cooperate with it.[clxxi]Those who trust in God do not panic with the deteriorating condition of the earth.[clxxii] They believe in a God who provides what is needed.[clxxiii] They share with others, even if they have limited resources.[clxxiv] And they look for a new heavens and a new earth free of physical, moral and spiritual pollution.[clxxv]God’s final message to the inhabitants of earth[clxxvi] calls on them to take Him seriously[clxxvii] and recognize Him as Savior,[clxxviii] Judge,[clxxix] Creator,[clxxx] Destroyer,[clxxxi] Lawgiver[clxxxii] and Soon-coming King.[clxxxiii] As this message goes around the world God’s angels hold back the forces of nature until everyone has a chance to make a final decision to receive the seal of God or the mark of the beast power.[clxxxiv]

    

  • 12. Sin, rather than earth, is the target of God’s destruction and God, not mankind, decides when and how to destroy. Sin and its effects are what is foreign to the beautiful world that God created.[clxxxv] This is the target of God’s destruction in the end, not the earth itself.[clxxxvi] The sins of mankind have had a negative effect on all the earth, including animals, birds, fish, plant life and the ground itself.[clxxxvii] At times God steps in to destroy the earth or parts of it, including human beings.[clxxxviii] But this is God’s decision, not the decision of mankind.[clxxxix] It must be in His timing, not ours.[cxc]There is a severe warning to mankind to not destroy the earth.[cxci]The closer we get to the end of time the more intensified will be the groanings of earth.[cxcii] Four angels hold back the destruction of three earth systems- land, sea and trees.[cxciii] When Jesus comes He doesn’t give us entirely different bodies but entirely renewed bodies.[cxciv]Ultimately He doesn’t make an entirely different earth but an entirely renewed earth.[cxcv]

    

If you are still reading this… Next month we will look at Twelve Practical Steps Adventists can take to be more earth friendly.

Blessings to you,

Dan Serns


[i]“Nobel Nominations – Left and Right” by Tom Zeller, Jr. New York Times February 2, 2007 http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/02/02/nobel-nominations-left-and-right/ Accessed on 2/6/2008[ii] “Al Gore Named `Baptist of the Year'” by Adelle M. Banks, Adventist Review December 27, 2007 http://www.adventistreview.org/article.php?id=1585#4 Accessed on 2/6/2008[iii]“Pope Makes Appeal to Protect the Environment” by Ian Fisher. New York Times December 25, 2007 http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/25/world/europe/25pope.html?n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/Subjects/R/Religion%20and%20Belief Accessed on 2/6/2008[iv]Quoted in “Climate Change” by Kathryn Eastburn. Colorado Springs Independent April 21, 2005. Accessed 2/6/2008 http://www.csindy.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A14684[v] Ibid[vi] See http://www.pcusa.org/environment/ Accessed 2/6/2008[vii] See http://www.ecusa.anglican.org/1829_ENG_HTM.htm Accessed 2/6/2008

[viii] For the Beauty of the Earth: : A Christian Vision for Creation Care, by Stephen Bouma-Prediger (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House; 2001) See http://www.amazon.com/Beauty-Earth-Christian-Creation-Engaging/dp/0801022983/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1202347184&sr=8-1

[ix]From the song “While You Were Sleeping” on the Lifesong album released in 2005. Lyrics found at http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/castingcrowns/whileyouweresleeping.html Accessed on 2/20/2008

[x] See http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/statements/main_stat9.html Accessed 2/6/2008

[xi]See for example “Why Green?” by Sari Fordham. Adventist Review July 14, 2007 http://www.adventistreview.org/issue.php?issue=2007-1516&page=27 Accessed on 2/6/2008

[xii] Genesis 1-2; Psalm 33:6, 9

[xiii] Psalm 24

[xiv] Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 12:15-21

[xv] Revelation 21-22; Isaiah 65:17; 66:22

[xvi] Genesis 1:26-27

[xvii] Genesis 9:5-6

[xviii] Genesis 1:28

[xix] Genesis 9:7

[xx]Genesis 1:28; cf. Revelation 11:18 where humans as held accountable for any destruction of the earth

[xxi] Genesis 3:17-19; 5:29

[xxii] Genesis 1:29

[xxiii] Genesis 3:18

[xxiv] Clean animals went into the ark by sevens and unclean by twos, a male and a female. Genesis 7:2-3. Later generations had to be reminded how to distinguish between clean and unclean animals. Leviticus 11; Deuteronomy 14. After the flood the clean animals could be sacrifices and/or eaten as long as the blood wasn’t eaten. Genesis 9:4

[xxv] Genesis 2:18-25; Psalm 68:6

[xxvi] See the numerous genealogies in the Bible, e.g. Genesis 4-5; 10-11; Ruth 4:18-22; 1 Chronicles 1-2; 4; 6; Matthew 1; Luke 3; etc.

[xxvii] Genesis 1:20-21, 23

[xxviii] Genesis 1:24-25, 30-31

[xxix] Genesis 1:22

[xxx] Genesis 1:31

[xxxi] Genesis 1:30

[xxxii] Genesis 6:7; cf. Numbers 23:24; 1 Samuel 17:34

[xxxiii] Genesis 3:21, 24; cf. Genesis 4:4, 7 etc.

[xxxiv] Leviticus 4:27-35

[xxxv] Leviticus 22:27

[xxxvi] John 1:29, 36; cf. Genesis 22; Use of “Lamb” in the Book of Revelation

[xxxvii] Isaiah 1:11-18; cf. 2 Chronicles 7:5

[xxxviii] Genesis 7:2-3

[xxxix] Genesis 9:9-17

[xl] Clean animals went into the ark by sevens and unclean by twos, a male and a female. Genesis 7:2-3. Later generations had to again be reminded how to distinguish between clean and unclean animals. Leviticus 11; Deuteronomy 14. After the flood the clean animals could be sacrifices and/or eaten as long as the blood wasn’t eaten. Genesis 9:4

[xli] Genesis 9:5-6

[xlii] Exodus 20:8-11

[xliii] Genesis 3:21

[xliv] Exodus 25:5; 26:14; 35:7, 23; Numbers 4:6-14

[xlv] Deuteronomy 25:4

[xlvi] Jonah 4:11

[xlvii] Luke 12:6; Matthew 10:29

[xlviii] Isaiah 11:6-9; 65:25

[xlix] Genesis 1:9-13

[l] Genesis 2:8

[li] Genesis 3:23-24

[lii] Song of Solomon 2:12-13; 4:12-5:1; 6:2-3

[liii] Isaiah 51:3; 58:11; Jeremiah 31:12

[liv] Matthew 6:28-30; Luke 12:27-28

[lv] Job 14:2; Psalm 103:15-16; Isaiah 5:24; 40:7-8; James 1:10; 1 Peter 1:24-25

[lvi] Genesis 6:14

[lvii] Exodus 25:5, 10, 13, 23, 28 etc.

[lviii] Deuteronomy 20:19-20

[lix] E.g. Proverbs; Ezekiel 31:4-18 where Assyria is compared with a lofty cedar

[lx] At many of the annual feasts there were grain offerings. Leviticus 23. On the third day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the priest was to wave a sheaf of the first grain harvested. Leviticus 23:10-14. During the Feast of Tabernacles the Israelites were to construct booths from vegetation and construct shelters to live in for seven days. Leviticus 23:40-43

[lxi] Revelation 22:2, 14, 19

[lxii] Isaiah 35:1-2

[lxiii] Genesis 1:9-10, 13

[lxiv] Genesis 3:17; 5:29

[lxv] Genesis 8:21

[lxvi] Genesis 4:11

[lxvii] Leviticus 18:25, 28; 20:22; For a list of the sins that caused this see Leviticus 18:6-24

[lxviii] Leviticus 25:2-7, 20-22

[lxix] Leviticus 23:22

[lxx] Leviticus 25:8-19, 23

[lxxi] Haggai 2:8 cf. Joshua 6:19

[lxxii] Ezekiel 28:13, 17

[lxxiii] E.g. Exodus 25; 26; 28; Exodus 35:5, 22; 36-39; cf. Solomon’s temple- 1 Kings 6:20-35

[lxxiv] Exodus 28:3-43

[lxxv] Hebrews 2:17; 3:1; 4:14-16

[lxxvi] 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19-20

[lxxvii] 1 Timothy 2:9-10; 1 Peter 3:3-5; cf. Revelation 3:17-19

[lxxviii] E.g. Abraham’s servant and Rebekah- Genesis 24:22, 53

[lxxix] Isaiah 61:10; Song of Solomon 1:10-11; 7:1

[lxxx]Pharaoh with Joseph- Genesis 41:42; Belshazzar with Daniel- Daniel 5:16, 29; cf. David claiming the jeweled crown of the Ammonite king of Rabbah after conquering the city- 2 Samuel 12:26-31

[lxxxi] Jeremiah 4:30; Ezekiel 16:10-26; Solomon’s search for pleasure- Ecclesiastes 2:8; Belshazzar’s Feast- Daniel 5:2-4, 23; The prostitute of Revelation- Revelation 17:2-3 and 18:16-17

[lxxxii]The Rededication of Jacob’s Household- Genesis 35:1-5; Golden Calf- Exodus 32:2, 24; Deuteronomy 7:25; Gideon- Judges 8:23-27; Philistines trying to appease Israel’s God- 1 Samuel 6:4-5; Nebuchadnezzar’s Golden Image- Daniel 3:1-17 (cf. Daniel 2:38); Psalm 115:4; 135:15; Isaiah 2:20; 30:22; 31:7; 40:19; 46:6; Jeremiah 10:8-10; Daniel 5:2-4, 23; Hosea 2:8; 8:4; Habakkuk 2:19-20; Revelation 9:20

[lxxxiii]E.g. Achan Joshua 7:21; cf. Deuteronomy 7:25

[lxxxiv]Piercing was particularly a sign of enslavement. The Ishmaelites, who were in the slavery business (Genesis 37:25-27), were known as men who wore gold earrings- Judges 8:24. Hebrew slave- Exodus 21:1-6; Behemoth- Job 40:24; Leviathan- Job 41:2; Prophecy of Jesus- Psalm 22:16; Prince of Tyre’s destruction- Ezekiel 28:7-8

[lxxxv] Zechariah 9:16

[lxxxvi] Revelation 4:4

[lxxxvii] Revelation 21:21

[lxxxviii] Revelation 21:21

[lxxxix] Revelation 21:19-20 cf. Isaiah 54:11-12

[xc] Genesis 2:1-3

[xci] Exodus 20:8-11

[xcii] Genesis 1:26-27, 31; 2:1-3

[xciii] Exodus 20:10; cf. Exodus 16:23-30, 35; 20:8-11; 23:12; 31:13-18

[xciv] Exodus 34:21

[xcv] Leviticus 25:2-7, 20-22

[xcvi]Man with withered hand in synagogue- Matthew 12:9-13 (Mark 3:2f.; Luke 6:7f.) ; Demon- possessed man in Capernaum synagogue- Mark 1:21-27 (Luke 4:31f); Peter’s mother-in-law with a fever- Matthew 8:14-15 (Mark 1:29-31; Luke 4:38-39); Woman crippled eighteen years in synagogue- Luke 13:10-17; Man with dropsy in house- Luke 14:1-6; Man lame thirty-eight years at Pool of Bethesda- John 5:1-18; Man blind from birth along road- John 9:1-16

[xcvii] Hebrews 4:1-11

[xcviii] Genesis 1-2

[xcix] Genesis 2:15-16

[c] Daniel 4:10-12; Matthew 13:32

[ci] Psalm 148; Revelation 4:11; 5:13; Isaiah 42:5; 43:7; 45:18

[cii] Genesis 1:26-27

[ciii] Psalm 8:4-8=Hebrews 2:6-8

[civ] Genesis 1:28; 2:18-25; 9:1, 7

[cv] Isaiah 53:5-6; Romans 4:25; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Galatians 1:4; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 2:2; 4:10; Revelation 1:5

[cvi] Genesis 1:24-25

[cvii] Genesis 1:28

[cviii] Matthew 10:31; The laws of restitution show that animals are valued but mankind is of greater value. See for example Leviticus 24:18-22.

[cix] Matthew 6:28-29; Genesis 1:29; Genesis 3:18

[cx] Genesis 3:18; 3:19

[cxi] Genesis 3:19; Ecclesiastes 3:19-20; 12:7

[cxii] John 5:28-29

[cxiii] Matthew 11:28-30

[cxiv] Exodus 20:12; Isaiah 58:7; Ephesians 4:25-32

[cxv] E.g. Jacob’s thoughtfulness toward animals in Genesis 33:13

[cxvi] E.g. 1 Chronicles 16:31-34

[cxvii] E.g. Solomon- 1 Kings 4:29-33

[cxviii] Genesis 3

[cxix] Genesis 3:8, 10

[cxx] Genesis 3:12-13

[cxxi] Genesis 3:17; 5:29

[cxxii] E.g. Exodus 2:23-24; 6:5; Psalm 6:6; 12:5; Romans 8:23, etc.

[cxxiii] Romans 8:22

[cxxiv] Job 1-2; 38-41; Luke 13:1-5

[cxxv] John 9:1-3 Man born blind; Luke 13:1-5

[cxxvi] Matthew 6:26-34; Luke 21:29-31. Many of Solomon’s Proverbs related to nature. Many of Jesus’ parables related to nature

[cxxvii] 1 Corinthians 13:12; Acts 3:19-21; cf. “It is impossible to gain a perfect knowledge of God from nature alone; for nature itself is imperfect. In its imperfection it cannot represent God, it cannot reveal the character of God in its moral perfection. But Christ came as a personal Saviour to the world. He represented a personal God. As a personal Saviour, He ascended on high; and He will come again as He ascended to heaven–a personal Saviour. He is the express image of the Father’s person. “In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9).” {Ellen White Selected Messages volume 1, p. 295.2}

[cxxviii] Luke 19:10; Romans 5:10; etc.

[cxxix]Romans 5:8-21; Ephesians 2:13-18; Colossians 1:13-20

[cxxx] Acts 3:19-21

[cxxxi] Revelation 5:11-13

[cxxxii] 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

[cxxxiii] E.g. Psalm 8

[cxxxiv] Romans 1:20-32

[cxxxv] Matthew 10:29

[cxxxvi] Matthew 17:24-27

[cxxxvii] Matthew 14:23-33; John 6:15-21; Mark 4:38-41

[cxxxviii] Matthew 6:28-30; Luke 12:26-28

[cxxxix] Matthew 8:2-4; 11:5; Luke 17:12-14, etc.

[cxl] E.g. Mark 5:1-43; 7:24-30

[cxli] 1 John 2:6

[cxlii] Psalm 96:11-13; 148:1-14

[cxliii]This is the underlying theme of God’s longest recorded speech in Scripture in Job 38-41. See also Psalm 104:1-35; 148:6-8; Colossians 1:15-17

[cxliv] Job 1:1-2:7

[cxlv] Jude 1:6; 1 Peter 3:22; 2 Peter 2:4; See also 1 Corinthians 6:3- After the saints judge the fallen angels God will have reason to discontinue sustaining their existence which He will do in the lake of fire. See Revelation 20. 1 John 5:11-12 makes it clear that there is no life apart from the sustaining power of God. Cf. Hebrews 1:4-2:9

[cxlvi] Matthew 25:41; Jude 1:5-7; Revelation 20:7-15

[cxlvii] 2 Peter 3:12-13; Isaiah 65:17; Revelation 20:14-21:1

[cxlviii] Matthew 6:24-34

[cxlix] Matthew 5:44-45

[cl] Psalm 147:8-9; Luke 12:24

[cli] John 4:13-14

[clii] Genesis 1:6-8

[cliii] Genesis 2:10-14

[cliv] Exodus 17:1-7; Numbers 20:1-13; Deuteronomy 8:15; Nehemiah 9:15; Psalm 78:20; Psalm 105:41; 114:7-8; Isaiah 48:21; 1 Corinthians 10:4

[clv] 1 Kings 17:1-6

[clvi] Revelation 22:1

[clvii] John 8:12; 9:5: cf. John 1:1-14; 3:18-21; 12:46

[clviii] Genesis 1:3-5

[clix] Genesis 1:14-19

[clx] Exodus 13:21-22; 14:19-20; 33:9-10; Numbers 14:14; Nehemiah 9:12, 19

[clxi] Joshua 10:7-14

[clxii] Revelation 21:23; 22:5

[clxiii] John 6:32-51

[clxiv] Genesis 1:11-13

[clxv] Exodus 16:1-36; Deuteronomy 8:3, 16; Joshua 5:12; Nehemiah 9:20; Psalm 78:23-25

[clxvi] 1 Kings 17:4-6

[clxvii] Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29

[clxviii] Isaiah 33:16

[clxix] Revelation 22:2, 14; 2:7

[clxx] Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5-5; Romans 8:38-39; cf. Genesis 28:15; Joshua 1:5

[clxxi] Compare the perfect original world described in the first two chapters of the Bible (Genesis 1-2) with the New Jerusalem described in the last two chapters of the Bible (Revelation 21-22). The perfection was interrupted by the entrance of sin (Genesis 3) which will come to a conclusion (Revelation 20). Everything else in the Bible outlines God’s plan to return to the original perfection.

[clxxii] Romans 8:31-32

[clxxiii] Genesis 22:8; Psalm 65:8; 78; Isaiah 33:15-17; Matthew 6:25-34; 7:11; 14:15-21

[clxxiv] Matthew 25:31-46; 1 Kings 17:9-16

[clxxv] Isaiah 65:17; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1

[clxxvi] Found in Revelation 14:6-12. This message goes to everyone just before the “harvest of the earth” v14-20.

[clxxvii] “Fear God” Revelation 14:7

[clxxviii] “Everlasting gospel” Revelation 14:6; Romans 1:16

[clxxix] “the hour of His judgment is come” Revelation 14:7

[clxxx] “Worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea…” Revelation 14:7; See also Exodus 20:8-11; Revelation 4:11, etc.

[clxxxi] “fountains of waters” in Revelation 14:7 has a connection with the destruction God poured out at the time of the flood when the “fountains of the deep” were broken up. Genesis 7:11; 8:2; “the wine of the wrath of God…” Revelation 14:10f.

[clxxxii] “the commandments of God” Revelation 14:12

[clxxxiii] “a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one ‘like a son of man’ with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand” Revelation 14:14

[clxxxiv] Revelation 7:1-3

[clxxxv] Genesis 3; 6:7, 11-13; 7:21-23

[clxxxvi] Genesis 6:7, 11-13; 7:21-23; Isaiah 24; Jeremiah 4:23-27; 25:31-35; Matthew 25:41; 2 Peter 3:7, 12-13; Revelation 20

[clxxxvii] Genesis 3:17-19; 4:12; 6:7, 11-13; 7:21-23; Leviticus 18:27-28; Romans 8:22-23

[clxxxviii] E.g. The Flood- Genesis 6-9; Sodom, Gomorrah & the cities of the plain- Genesis 18:20-19:29

[clxxxix] Romans 12:19; Hebrews 10:30; Nahum 1:2, 9

[cxc] 2 Peter 3:3-12

[cxci] Revelation 11:18

[cxcii] Matthew 24:5-12; note particularly the expression “birth pangs” in verse 8.

[cxciii] Revelation 7:1-3

[cxciv] 1 Corinthians 15:51-55; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

[cxcv] Isaiah 65:16-19; Matthew 5:5; Revelation 21-22

Comments Off on Why Not Try This? …Explore the Bible Evidence for Balanced Environmentalism

Filed under Bible Study, Lifelong Learning, Sabbath, Why Not Try This?