Cultivate and Protect
God placed us to live in His creation. The beauty of God’s creation work surrounds us every day. Around us in our lives there’s always something to marvel at and admire. Nature’s beauty, complexity and its never-ending changes from season to season remind us that our Creator is almighty.
God’s workday continues; He yet creates and guides His creation. His creation work happens in us, and in our children. It is sobering to remember that we are God’s only creation that can worship Him! Only humans can hear God’s voice and know Him. As part of this special relationship, God also gave the first humans a task, to cultivate and protect creation (Gen. 2:15). Each generation fulfills this duty in their time. Now it is our turn.
Scripture beautifully describes the special status God gave humans: “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so” (Gen. 1:29,30).
God has given us many gifts in nature. We can take our share of nature’s bounty: berries, fish, game, fruits and vegetables, water and wood and seeds and mushrooms and much more. We have been given a good country, a good home area in which to live and be reminded of the handiwork of God all around us. With these gifts comes responsibility. We can show our thankfulness to God for these gifts by using them responsibly and in reasonable amounts.
We can develop nature too. We shape the earth, sow and reap. We rejoice over the growth God gives. But the growth and the harvest bounty are not in our hands. All grows according to the conditions God grants. Though we have dominion, it is yet He who commands the air, the soil, the water, everything that grows and lives under and on the earth and in the waters and skies.
We should live our life in a way that our choices and our lifestyle respect nature and that we with God-given understanding attempt to upkeep that which God has ordained. We wish to be thankful for what we are given, and as a result we want to preserve this same gift for future generations.
Nonetheless, as a result of the fall into sin, we humans have not been successful in the task we were given. Thoughtlessness and greed have caused damage to that which once was perfect and good.
Also, we as humans have to admit our smallness and weakness before the forces of nature. God has at times shown His might and power through great ecological, natural events. He can even use these events and catastrophes to turn people’s thoughts to their Creator.
We may be worried about ecological catastrophes and whether there are enough resources to support and sustain life as we know it. But we have to remember that God didn’t mean the earth would be our eternal dwelling place. In creating the world, He also determined that it would end one day. The world is finite, its time is finite and its resources are finite.
Even if there are periods of change before us that affect our home area, and even if we had to live among the worst-case scenarios that some predict, even then our faith that is anchored in our Creator – our heavenly Father – brings us comfort and security. He will be with us through storm and calm, through flood and drought and through seasons of fire and ice.
Our Creator created us as eternal beings, to rest one day with Him in heaven’s home. In His goodness He has made it possible to own, by faith, the promise of eternal life. So the most important thing to cultivate here in this time is the seed of living faith. We should plant this most precious of seeds plentifully. God will bless this work and protect the seedling of faith from frost and flood.
God will one day harvest the precious grain to His stores in heaven. There our turn of protecting and cultivating will be over. Instead, we will reap everlasting reward.