It seems like nature is going crazy: unusually hot weather, floods, fires, viruses… and on and on. What is happening? Is this a compilation of fossil fuel burning and other human pollution? Certainly. But there is something deeper.
These natural problems are the result of human selfishness. After several thousand years of selfishness, the Earth just can’t take it anymore.
This selfishness is of the human soul: and there is something even deeper than that. It has to do with the spirit. It is a spiritual sickness, called sin. Sin is the ultimate source.
God created the world to be sensitive: sensitive to words, to human beings, to authority, to sin and righteousness (Genesis 1:3, 26-28; 3:17). When humans behave righteously, the earth is blessed. When we behave sinfully, the earth is cursed.
In a poignant parable, the Torah speaks of the land/earth “vomiting” out those who dwell in it.
“…and the land is defiled, and I visit her iniquity upon her; and the land vomits out her inhabitants.” (Leviticus 18:25)
וַתִּטְמָא הָאָרֶץ, וָאֶפְקֹד עֲוֹנָהּ עָלֶיהָ; וַתָּקִא הָאָרֶץ אֶת־יֹשְׁבֶיהָ
“Lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you.” (Leviticus 18:28)
“And you shall keep all my commandments and all my judgments, and do them; that the land not vomit you out.” (Leviticus 20:22)
In context this is speaking of the Israelites inhabiting the land of Canaan. However, the principle is relevant to all people in all lands. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the earth is nauseous. It is nauseous from human beings, nauseous from our sins and selfishness.
During the Corona lockdowns, it seemed that the Sea of Galilee was very happy, or at least relieved. There was so much less litter, garbage and pollution. The beaches were clean; the surrounding plant life was healthier than ever.
Perhaps this is a time for everyone, from every walk of life, to take a pause. A worldwide crisis is giving us a worldwide opportunity. In response to this crisis, let’s not look to an extreme political agenda and start accusing one another again.
May everyone look at his own heart. Let’s humble ourselves from our pride, greed, lust and ugliness. Let’s ask forgiveness from God who created this beautiful earth.
Did you know that the Bible says God will punish those who destroy the natural creation? That should give us some fear of God.
“And the nations were wrathful; and your wrath has come; and the time to judge the dead and give reward to your servants the prophets and to the saints and to those who fear your name, small and great; and to destroy those who destroy the earth.” (Revelation 11:18)
The environmental crisis should cause us all to repent; to be disgusted with our own selfishness, rebellion and disobedience. May this be a season of worldwide, true, heart-felt soul-searching and humility!
As we approach the Day of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement, let’s turn to God and seek His face. He promised that He will hear from heaven and heal the land (2 Chronicles 7:14).