Who owns the earth?
I heard a Pastor say recently that Satan owned the earth because St. Paul calls him, “the god of this world…”
…whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:4
The NKJV translates this verse correctly – it is “age” (“aeon” in Greek). This represents a period of time in which Satan is worshipped, not ownership.
So Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the Lord; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, that you may know that the earth is the Lord’s. ~ Exodus 9:29
The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell therein. ~ Psalm 24:1
…for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:26
But if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience’ sake; for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:28
Clearly the planet and all of its inhabitants belong to Yahweh God. Now having said that, we need to understand that we are stewards and managers of all that we occupy on the earth. God expects us to take responsibility for our earth and its environment. Please do not confuse me with one who worships nature to the detriment of human life, and don’t lump me in with those who want to save the whales while aborting babies. This is NOT what I am saying. There is a significant difference between utilizing the earth and abusing the earth. A person with a healthy respect for the planet is very different from someone who idolizes and/or worships the planet.
They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. ~ Romans 1:25
Even in its fallen state, there remains so much beauty in the earth. How my heart thrills every day as I look at the majestic hills around where we live in East Tennessee. Whether the rivers, oceans, forests, deserts, or majestic lakes, our planet is blessed. However, how sad it is when I see people throw trash in Lake Chickamauga, birds covered in oil in the ocean, filthy inner cities, and piles of junk ignored.
Phony environmentalists claim America is the problem. However, having traveled to most of the world, I find that the contrary is true. Trash is everywhere in many countries. The United States is a picture of pristine cleanliness compared to MANY places to which I have been. A lot of it is simply people too lazy to clean up their own mess.
Several years ago, a former leader in our church walked in one morning and informed the staff that there was litter on the parking lot. Our church administrator at the time, the late Dr. Jim McClanahan said, “Why don’t you pick it up?” The man turned and left in stunned silence. Dr. McClanahan went out with our custodial staff and picked up the trash in question.
So… why am I carrying on about this?
Because good stewardship is not just our giving. We can also show good stewardship by caring for our properties, our living spaces, and our communities on this earth. We can’t fix every thing every where, but if we start with where WE are, and show respect for what God has blessed us with, we can be an example… an example that can catch on and be repeated throughout the world.
Here is a verse that stunned me as I was doing a re-read of Revelation…
The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come,
And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,
And those who fear Your name, small and great,
And should destroy those who destroy the earth. ~ Revelation 11:18
There is a judgment that falls on those who destroy the earth. Let’s be good managers of all God has blessed us with.