Nature! A beautiful thing. But a thing, not a person, nevertheless. There have been many attempts over the years to personify nature and to see it as a person with emotions etc. One of the latest attempts has been by the U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres opening the U.N. Climate Action Summit. Among many other things he said, “Nature is angry and we fool ourselves if we think we can fool nature because nature always strikes back and around the world nature is striking back with fury.” That is giving nature a whole lot of authority and power, to suggest that it can act independently of any other power.
His words actually highlighted what the Bible says about fallen humankind’s rebellion against God. Or the rebellion of creatures against their Creator. St Paul wrote of the fallen creation, “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” Rom 1:25. God Himself is meant to get the worship and the glory, not His creation! Nature [creation] is under the ultimate control of its Creator and Sustainer.
How should we see creation?
When we look at nature or creation, what are we meant to see? Obviously the United Nations Secretary General sees it almost as a powerful vengeful being whom one must not upset lest there be disastrous consequences. There many others who have similar views.
The truth is that when we view creation we are meant to recognise God’s handiwork in nature. It owes everything to Him. It should lead people to worship and adoration of Him. Creation points beyond itself to its Creator, YHWH God. King David understood that. He wrote in Psalm19 these magnificent words describing how the creation witnesses to its Creator, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. 4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.” Psalm 19:1-4. Without saying a word, nature or creation silently bears witness to an omnipotent Creator.
St Paul had previously described in Romans 1 what happened in the fall of humans and the consequences, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.” Romans 1:18-23.
Verses 21 to 22 above describe the following. Futile thinking! Darkened foolish hearts! Fools! Hardly a ringing endorsement for those in the higher levels of government and control in our world. Why? Because even though God has revealed himself in His creation they chose not to glorify Him as God nor give thanks to Him [failing to recognise their utter dependence on Him.]
The fall-out from the Fall of humankind is described in the remaining verses of Romans 1. It is not a pretty picture, but it illustrates that when one loses focus on the Creator God, one can be easily deceived and fall into evil of various types.
We would do well to note what God said to His people as they were about to enter the Promised Land. He wanted their unwavering commitment, as He demands of every human in every race in every generation. He urged them to “faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul— 14 then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. 15 I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied. 16 Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. 17 Then the LORD’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut up the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the LORD is giving you. 18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.” It is the Lord who opens and closes the heavens. Nature doesn’t! He is in control.
We close with the words the Lord spoke to Solomon at the Dedication of the temple, “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chron 7:13-14.
The answer to receiving the Lord’s blessing and avoiding severe “natural” calamities is to get back into a right relationship with our Creator God. He wants the best for His children and will protect the environment for them as they walk in obedience to Him. He will show them in His love what dangers exist and how they can play their part in dealing with them. Seeking to find and apply human solutions without any consultation with the Creator [and indeed ignoring Him] is a lost and potentially dangerous cause.
My ongoing prayer in these days of increasing rebellion against God and the inversion of human values is this, “Lord, may YOUR kingdom come, and YOUR will be done.” Where His will is in contrast to the Climate Change extremists and to those espousing damaging socialist materialistic philosophies, may HIS WILL be done and none other. Humbly we might add, “Lord, may YOUR will be done in me and by me and through me for the rest of my life! AMEN”