“O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:1 NIV) This Psalm is one of my favorites. Sandi Pattie sings a song using these lines and it lifts my spirit in praise to God. His name is majestic and truly worthy of our praise. He has even “ordained praise” (vs 2) from children. I love to hear a child singing “Jesus Loves Me.” That innocence and faith were even commented on by Jesus: “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3 NIV)
But also, in this Psalm, mankind is given a responsibility. In verses 6-8: You made him (man) ruler over the works of Your hands; You put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.” (NIV) I am not now, nor will I ever be, considered a “tree hugger.” I will never put the life or livelihood of people ahead of the life of an animal. That being said, when God created Adam and Eve, He commanded them to care for the Garden, the earth. Genesis 2:15 says, “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” (NIV)
It is ours to use but not abuse. When the Israelites went into the land of Canaan to conquer it, they were commanded to let the land have a rest every seven years, a Sabbath. Many farmers practice this now; they plant corn one year and soybeans the next, varying it and then every few years letting the field lay fallow for a season to rest and regain some of the nutrients that the crops have depleted from the soil.
This world is precious to God, a precious gift given to mankind. He made it to meet our physical needs: food, clothing, shelter. The diversity for all of these is amazing: grains, vegetables, fruits, meats, eggs, dairy all for us to enjoy eating; for clothing – everything from cotton, linen, silk, and flax to wool, leather and furs or skins; and for housing there’s wood, stone and any number of things mad by man from what God created. Beside the necessities of life, God made many other things for us to enjoy like flowers and the variety of animals to see.
But we are to rule over and care for creation. We need to be careful with what we’ve been given; taking care of this precious gift of the planet earth. And daily we need to thank God for providing for our needs.