Written by Kenneth Samuel
"... the land must rest for seventy years to make up for the years when the people refused to observe the Sabbath." - 2 Chronicles 36:21 (Living Bible)
The image of the Energizer Bunny is cute when applied to batteries, but quite dangerous when applied to living creatures.
Our brains require our bodies to take definite periods of physical rest on a daily basis. Animals require certain periods of rest in order to remain healthy. And according to the Bible, the earth itself needs definite periods of rest for its own replenishment.
To allow time for the environment to rest and replenish is to respect the environment and to recognize that we as humans are not over and above, but very much a part of the living environs that we inhabit.
In the 7th century BCE, the Prophet Jeremiah was sent to warn Israel that a lack of respect for the sanctity of God reflected in a lack of respect for the sanctity of the land would result in the loss of Israel's land. This happened by way of the Babylonian captivity, which lasted for seventy years.
God informs the Israelites that during the seventy years of exile, when they would not be allowed to work the land, the land would be granted the sabbatical rest that the Israelites had refused to give it in their wanton disregard of the Creator and the natural created order.
Prophecy tells us that when we doggedly make the concerns for our environment subordinate to our monetary interests, we place ourselves and the environment of which we are a part in serious jeopardy.
Lord, let your prophecy guide us as we weigh the prospects of global warming, fracking and every threat to our environment. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.