The Malevolence of Nature (A Biblical Perspective on Environmentalism: Part 3)

Reprinted with permission from As I See It, which is available free by writing to the editor at The series so far.

To hear some environmentalists tell it, the natural world in all its diversity is just one unending delight, pure paradise every moment of every day, all the year round. “Nature good, human bad.” Such a Pollyannaish view is incalculably far from the truth. The natural world is anything but uniformly benign and benevolent. It is all “under the curse” that was meted out to mankind as a consequence of deliberate rebellion against an expressed Divine command. Thorns and thistles are singled out by God for specific mention as part of that curse which frustrates man’s attempts to secure his food supply—his “daily bread”—from the now-cursed ground (Gen. 3:17-19). But it can be reasonably inferred that other unspecified things were also part of that curse, including insect pests, plant diseases, and inclement weather, to mention some of the most obvious. These are a curse, a hindrance to human survival (though with a definite Divine purpose—“for your sake,” v. 17—for “in their adversity, they will seek me early,” Hos. 5:15). And we have only addressed man’s agrarian pursuits. There is very much more in nature that is hostile to man than just these things.

545 reads