Top 7 Bible Verses About Taking Care Of The Earth

God commands us to keep and care for the earth but God’s edict to have dominion over the earth doesn’t mean to have complete domination and exploitation of it.

Genesis 2:15 “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”

God gave mankind a command and told him that he must tend or keep the garden. The Hebrew word for “tend” or some translations say “keep” it is “shamar” and it means more than just keep it neat and tidy. The Hebrew word means “to guard” or “to watch and protect.” The other Hebrew word in this verse that’s very important is the word “work” or as some translations more accurately say “to cultivate” and is from the Hebrew word “`abad” meaning “to serve” so Genesis 2:15 would better read as: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to serve it and to guard and protect it.” That means that we are stewards of the earth and the Master will require of us an account on how we’ve been stewards of what He has given us. So far, it’s not been good stewardship to say the least.

Proverbs 12:10 “Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.”

Laws such as “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain” (Duet 25:4) and as Jesus asked “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out” (Matt 12:11)? God’s compassion and love for His creatures is evident throughout the Bible like in Exodus 23:4 where even “If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him” and “If you see your fellow Israelite’s ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to its owner” (Duet 22:1) yet we find mother cats abandoned in the middle of winter, pregnant dogs dumped in the middle of scorching Kansas summers of 100 degrees left alone. What cruelty there is among the animal kingdom and the blood is on the hands of many.

The-nations-raged-but

Revelation 11:18 “The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”

God will not leave those unpunished who destroy the earth because those who do so are only interested in using and abusing the earth to make a profit but at what cost? We all are responsible for how we live our lives and if we throw trash out of the car, how we leave trash in campsites or pour out toxic wastes in the ground. Years ago our neighbor used to pour his used motor oil on the fence line so that he wouldn’t have to weed eat where the mower wouldn’t reach but his trees started to die and he ended up having to cut down two huge one hundred year old tress in his back yard. How sad.

Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

God gave mankind dominion over the earth but not in order to use or misuse it at any cost for any reason. We have destroyed many areas of the planet to suit our own needs and this earth must groan under the weight of the ravaging and pillaging of the planet.

Proverbs 27:18 “Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who guards his master will be honored.”

This is a double proverb in the sense that the one who tends or takes care of the fig tree will probably tend after other things and by doing so, he is guarding his master’s possessions. We might not be able to tend the world but we can tend our own little corner of it and do what we can where we live. In our home, we recycle about 85% of our trash and that includes aluminum, steel, newspaper, junk mail, glass, plastic (4 different kinds), chipboard (like with toilet paper and paper towel rolls) and many other things to where we’ve cut out trash down to one small bag per week as opposed to it being 2 large bags every week. Food items are tossed into the compost pile.

Numbers 35:33“You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it.”

God clearly commanded Israel to not pollute the land even though He was speaking about establishing cities of refuge where those who had accidentally killed someone could take refuge from any family member that wanted to avenge them, thereby shedding blood on the land but even if it’s not the exact application for taking care of the earth, the principle of good stewardship cannot be lost in this verse.

Psalm 24:1 “A Psalm of David. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.”

This is not our earth because the title holder is God and He will hold us responsible for how we care for it. As we read in Revelation 11:18, those who abuse and destroy the earth will not go unpunished and knowing that the earth is not really ours, we should treat the earth with the respect of knowing it is God’s own possession and not ours but He was still willing to share with us to use for our own good.

Conclusion

God commands us to keep and care for the earth but God’s edict to have dominion over the earth doesn’t mean to have complete domination and exploitation of it but sadly, this is what has happened; we continue to rape the land, denude the forests, strip-mine the hills, burn through the resources, and gut the earth. This is the only place that we have and if we chose to abuse it, it will be a choice we will live to regret.

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon.

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  • Lorraine

    I always figured since most Christians feel the rapture is near (although, that idea has existed for centuries), “why bother taking care of the Earth” was the general consensus.

    Besides that, having Big Oil in so many of our representative(s) pocket (i.e., their money) causing them to do silly things like throw a snowball on the chamber floor to “prove” global warming is a hoax, it seems most Christians’ choose to go along with “their” elected officials, because they’re so used to being “followers” and not “thinkers.” If they tried to understand WHY these elected people push these ideas, they should begin to see the real reason behind it. It’s not “God,” it’s “Greed.”

    • Jack Wellman

      Lorraine, so spot on. Thank you.

    • Madisyn Young

      Christians as a whole are not “followers” for they believe in living with moral values and living separate from the world’s view. Your obliviousness is hysterical. And Christians believe in taking care of the land that God has blessed them to live on. Scriptures talk about being stewards of the earth. Do your research before making a generalized statement, cause you would of found that you were wrong. :/

      • Kristin

        I disagree with you Madisyn. I think you may be the blind one in this – loyalty does that, but we can only fix our faults by admitting them. That we are clearly meant to Help those around us is very true, Jesus speaks about it in his parables and commands, and that this translates to caring for our environment (as this directly impacts on people) is also true. However, this being true doesn’t mean that it is done, and you just need to look around to see that we are lazy, apathetic and clearly follow the easy norms of life. “Christians” still make up a majority of the Earth’s population. If we were as active, caring and forward thinking as we should be, and actually followed through with caring for people, the Earth and the Environment as we should, rather than following the crowd and making excuses, a large portion of the Earth’s current problems wouldn’t exist – Why? Because we have the numbers to change things. But we don’t. We conform and ignore the problem to live an easy life.

    • Madisyn Young

      Christians as a whole are not “followers” for they believe in living with moral values and living separate from the world’s view. Your obliviousness is hysterical. And Christians believe in taking care of the land that God has blessed them to live on. Scriptures talk about being stewards of the earth. Do your research before making a generalized statement, cause you would of found that you were wrong. :/

  • N8

    The command of stewardship was directed to the man in Eden that had a direct connection to God. Therefore, all of Adams actions were directed by God. After man was separated from God, true stewardship was impossible because the connection with God was broken. To think it is still our call (or even a higher function) to be stewards is a distraction from the REAL message. This earth is doomed, just read the bible Jack. Our only call is to repent and live in the spirit, help others to repent and live in the spirit, and wait for the lord to create the new world. (Of course once we have the Holy Spirit guiding our lives we will naturally lead clean and wholesome lives) 2 Peter 3:8-13 will help clarify our relationship to this fallen world.

    • Ace List

      You frame Christianity as a death cult; you are wrong, it is a religion of life and love. That you are content to sit and watch as we destroy this living Earth is very troubling to me. It is our duty as children of God to fight entropy and work toward greater order. You are abdicating your duty, sir, and blaming it on your faith.

      • TruckFumpf

        My GOD you’re a hypocritical little fuck, aren’t you? You must really be in love with the phrase ” It is our duty as children of God to fight entropy and work toward greater order. ” You think that it makes you sound intelligent, don’t you? Let me disabuse you of that notion: it makes you sounds like a brainwashed, new-age, crystal buffer. I bet you’re lots of fun at parties. I bet non wickens avoid you like the red plague.

        Btw, I used to go to United Foundry in DC sometimes w Mrs Clinton. She’s a Methodist. Our first deep conversation was about liberation theology, which we bonded over. I’m probably more a Navajo than a Christian, but my mother was a Catholic Worker, so I do love me a good ol’ lefty labor priest taking on the oligarchs, Jethro!

        Piece of advice, Bro, you really should be working on that “Judge not, that ye be not judged” bit if you wanna pretend you’re actually a “Christian” and all.

        Just sayin! ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  • Julie

    Jesus, during the sermon on the mound, compared the lilies of the fields to Solomon in all his splendor, and found the fields more magnificent. He said God cares about the sparrow so we shouldn’t worry if he cares for us as well.
    Caring for the earth is caring for people. If I dump pollutiin on the ground, it kills the plants and also gets in the water we all share. Our cheap food is cheap partly because people are paid poverty wages to harvest and process it, while they are exposed to pesticides and sometimes dangerous conditions. To feed our lust for more (the average American throws out 80 pounds of clothing/fabric PER YEAR, we are eating way more calories than what we need and it’s often I the form of prepackaged junk) habitat is destroyed. The problem is that these processes are hidden from our eyes. If they stared us in the face we could see the misery caused for our pleasure.
    I don’t think it was God’s intent to create an earth so beautiful and diverse and have us wipe out species and poison habitat. We were called to tend, give everything a name which requires us to know it. All things in heaven and earth declare His glory–even the rocks will cry out. This destruction is to the delight of Satan. He wants nothing more than to destroy the earth and us with it.

  • Ephraim Million

    You are butchering the word of God to suit the agenda of the elites. God is sovereign and anything that goes on in the world is in his control. If God says he will take care of the sparrows of the field, no human will have the power to stop him. Our main concern for this age and for the ages to come is preaching the gospel of Jesus (repent of your sins and believe in the lord Jesus’s sacrifice of atonement). There is nothing that speaks of the end of the world coming from “global warming” and even if there is such a thing as global warming, God will destroy this fallen and cursed world to establish his everlasting kingdom with a new heaven and a new earth. Stop wasting your money and your breath.