Is Nature Sacred?

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Question: Is nature sacred?

Answer: Yes, the earth was created to be God’s dwelling place with us. 

In Genesis 2:8, God planted a garden and placed Adam and Eve in it. Then He entrusted stewardship over the whole earth to them (Gen. 1:28). The Garden of Eden was meant to be a model for what human stewardship of the whole earth should be as humans multiplied and filled the earth. All of creation was made by God to be a place where He could enjoy fellowship with humankind (Col. 1:16).

However, human sin brought corruption to the whole world, including nature. Now nature “groans” under sin (Rom. 8:22) and has, in one sense, become an enemy of mankind through death (1 Cor. 15:26). God’s curse upon the ground makes our work with the environment more difficult (Gen. 3:17-19). Nonetheless, God has not allowed the testimony of nature to be completely obscured by sin, and still claims the world and its inhabitants as his property (Deut. 10:14; Psa. 24:1; 1 Cor. 10:26). Nature continues to praise its Creator (Psalm 19), to witness to His character (Rom. 1:18-20), and to testify of God’s provision (Acts 14:17).

Finally, God will purge the earth of all corruption so that it may flourish in ways yet unknown (2 Peter 3:11-13). The curse of Adam (Gen 3:17-19) will be reversed (Rev. 21:4), and this world will be freed from corruption (Rom. 8:21). The “new heavens and earth” are the renewal of this world, the very place where God’s dwelling will be with man (Rev. 21:3). Heaven (God’s dwelling place) will be wedded to earth (our dwelling place); that is, God’s glory will be over all the earth (Psalm 57).

This is my Father’s world,
O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world:
the battle is not done:
Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav’n be one.

For more information, see the resources linked below or search “creation care” at holyjoys.org.

David Fry
Senior Pastor at the Frankfort Bible Holiness Church. PhD in Systematic Theology (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School). MDiv in New Testament Theology (Wesley Biblical Seminary).