“Theologically, we’re told from one end of scripture to the other to take care of the planet.”
God’s initial call for humans to care for His creation can be found in the book of Genesis.
“And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” – Genesis 2:15
Dr. Sleeth elaborates on the reality of our sinful human nature,
“As Adam and Eve sinned, the first thing they were going to do was to go and undress the garden, tear a leaf off and cover their shame.”
Scripture tells us very clearly what not to do while stewarding God’s resources, but it’s up to us to honor His instruction. Dr. Sleeth provides a few examples from Leviticus 23:22 and Deuteronomy 24:20.
“The scripture has many, many things that tell us not to cut to the edge of the field. Meaning don’t try to get every ounce that you can out of a field, leave some for poor people, leave some poor animals.”
“It tells us not to beat the olive tree twice. It tells us not to muddy the water with our cattle.”
We are instructed to care for the earth, but in the end it is Christ who will save the world from sin, decay and destruction. Dr. Sleeth elaborates,
“Ultimately it’s not you or I that save this planet, it is Christ. Christ has come back as the new Adam and unlike the first Adam, he actually is able to tend, to keep and dress the garden.”
Dr. Sleeth encourages us all to plant a tree with a young child and help them care for it. Similar to the growth of a tree from childhood, we learn about the importance of spiritual growth throughout our lives.
“There’s two things that you want to be bigger when that child comes back later and that’s the tree. The other thing that’s supposed to grow like a tree is our faith. We’re told that in the first Psalm God uses that metaphor and analogy of the tree of the same thing; that our faith should always be growing.”
Caring for the planet and for our soul is our responsibility as Christians. It will help us grow closer to God’s heart and gives us a glimpse into His eternal plans.
“The centerpiece of Heaven in front of God’s throne is the tree of life. So we’re going for a pretty green eternity from what the bible says if we believe in the Lord.”