Pastor David Brewster
Special to the Guardian
Seasons of climate crisis have existed in many forms for centuries.
Long before there were automobiles, factories and the mass extraction of fossil fuels, the Bible speaks of climate crisis and the real cause behind it.
In Genesis 1 God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
The ability to successfully exercise this stewardship is directly affected by man’s willingness to live by the ways and laws of God. These were not just rules to make our lives constrained and miserable, but loving guidelines that were in perfect harmony with our design and ultimate good. Adherence to these guidelines promised blessing, success and long life.
God promised He would open His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to our land in its season and to bless all the work of our hands. (Deuteronomy 28:12) Not only was there promise but also warning that deviance from God’s ways would bring cursing, failure, suffering and, ultimately, death. This would be seen in several areas including, but not limited to, unfavourable weather conditions, flooding, drought and even fires.
Deuteronomy 28 tells us we would be smitten with fiery heat, the sky over us would become like bronze and the earth under us like iron. The rain of our land would be powder and dust.
The real cause behind climate crisis is definitely human activity. But it’s not about carbon emissions; it’s about sin. We can deny this. We can try to fix things our own way, follow our own wisdom, establish our own view of morality and even deny the very existence of God, but things will only get worse.
Isaiah 5 says, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight!”
No one can dispute that we’re living in a time of great climate instability and weather irregularity. In addition to this, our world is sick, people are living in fear and nations are in turmoil. God’s antidote is clearly stated in 2 Chronicles: 7 and it’s the only solution that’s going to work. Here God says that if the heavens are shut up so that there is no rain or if the locusts devour the land or if pestilence comes and His people, who are called by His name, humble themselves and pray and seek God’s face and turn from their wicked ways then He will hear from heaven, will forgive our sin and heal our land.
In times past when seasons of climate crisis occurred, some cursed God, others lost hope but many prayed according to God’s directive and saw things change for the better. We can learn from this. Romans 8 tells us that all of creation is waiting for this very thing to happen and waits in eager expectation to be set free from its slavery to corruption. Even though humans may resist God’s ways and God’s solution, there is promise that one day creation will be free again. The New Living Translation of the Bible puts it this way: “You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song and the trees of the field will clap their hands!” (Isaiah 55)
David Brewster is the pastor at Montague Pentecostal Assembly. A guest sermon runs regularly in Saturday’s Guardian and is provided through Christian Communications.