One time a few years ago someone asked to borrow my van to pick up some furniture they had purchased. When I got the van back the gas gauge was on empty, some of the radio presets were changed, it was dirty, there were a few new scratches on the back door, and the seats were not put back in. As you can imagine I was rather disappointed. Most of my disappointment was because someone who called themselves my friend showed such disregard for my property. “The time has come … that they should be judged. He will destroy those who destroy the earth.” Revelations 11:18. Interesting. It seems our Heavenly Father also gets a bit perturbed at those who show disregard for His property too. We have a responsibility to care for His creation. He wants us to enjoy it but He expects us to care for it. I am sad to say, I don’t think we are doing a very good job.
This passage is a reference to the time of judgment that will eventually come upon the earth. At that time, every human being will be held accountable to God for what they have done with their lives and there is a specific reference to those who have destroyed the earth. Since the 1960s, there has been a great deal of concern and controversy about man’s relationship to the environment and nature. I realize there is a lot of variety in this movement from the environmental terrorists to conservationists who seek to preserve wilderness areas. But I believe most environmentalists hold to similar core values. Their concern is primarily a reaction to businesses that have exploited the environment for man’s greedy and materialistic pursuits, by clear-cutting entire forests without any effort at replanting and without any care for the damage to the wildlife, or to dumping wastes in our rivers, streams, and lakes, or to strip mining mountains and leaving the remains without any concern for soil erosion, or for releasing toxic fumes into our atmosphere. This reference to destroying the earth would also include those who are destroying the earth with litter and waste. There are some things being done to our environment that ought to get people upset.
Do you think that God cares about people who destroy His creation or who deliberately destroy our environment by polluting our rivers, or who destroy our forests, or who pollute our air? A day of judgment is coming for those who destroy the earth! We need to be careful that we are not abusing our environment. We need to be more conscientious of our consumer mentality and our continual desire for more and the lifestyle that promotes destruction to our environment. We don’t need to become environmental terrorists or fanatics, but we should be living a bit more intentional about our use of the environment and be more aware of what kind of ‘carbon footprint’ we are leaving. Let’s make sure we are not destroying creation or polluting with litter or waste. Man’s rule and dominion over the earth is that of a steward or a caretaker, not a reckless exploiter.