Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Cut Down the Forests, I will Cut You Down

The Minor Prophets Speak to Today

 God Does Care About The Destruction of Forests

Habakkuk 2:17a

You cut down the forests of Lebanon.
Now you will be cut down.


Throughout the Bible the cedars of Lebanon represent a forest of awe and a product of great value. Oh, that God's children might be the same.


Christians often argue about what it means to have been given stewardship over all the earth. Many believe stewardship means to take what has been given and create something for the greater good. Others believe we can use all things for our enrichment. Some believe we are to use all things but are charged to do so in a way that does not destroy the creation.

But few people search the prophets for God's warnings about our use of those things wild and natural.

In Habakkuk, God does not mince his words. The destruction of his forests reaps the destruction of our nations and of ourselves. To deforest the land is to ask to be cut down ourselves.

Think about current Christian responses to environmental concerns. Imagine how unpopular Habakkuk's message would be among some Christian groups. Imagine how utterly many rebukes the speaker would recieve if he or she tied the destruction of the forest to the economic, social, and spiritual decay of the nation.

Massive deforestation occurred across the United States. It even altered the nation's weather patterns in the first one hundred and fifty years of our expansion across the continent. Similarly great forests have disappeared across Europe and Asia, especially in Russia. Brazilian forests stand endangered by deforestation disrupting all sorts of factors in their economy and for many people groups. Africa has suffered the same and it appears that earlier coastal deforestation was the main contributor to the expansion of the Sahara Desert.

All of this makes the deforestation of Lebanon insignificant in scope. But God took note of the problem centuries ago - even before the level of destruction since that has banished Lebanon's forests to insignificant patches here and there.

What sorrow have we reaped at our greater, more thorough destruction of forests across America?

What further sorrows await us for failing to heed this warning in the prophets and, in many instances continuing to ignore, and to even disparage and fight against, the environmentalists who try to speak this truth to us?

How quickly we dismiss the word of the Lord through reasonable voices just because ultra-radicals propose preposterous applications of God's message. 

Photo credits:
Cedars of Lebanon by unknown
Lebanon Cedar by Rabih Al Massry some rights reserved
Flower by Rabih Al Massry some rights reserved

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