As a disciple of Jesus Christ, I know that God is the creator of everything, and as a good steward of the Earth, I must do my part to care for the environment that I call my home. All of us should treat this planet as a gift from the God who created it all, but many people do not care that they destroy and pollute the very Earth we need to live on. There are also many people who worship the Earth, as if it were a god instead of a planet. God’s charge to mankind was not to use, worship, poison or exploit our Earth, but to wisely take care of the creation that supports all life, including yours and mine! As inhabitants of the Earth, we can learn from it, and let it instruct and provide us with all that we need for life and health. Learning to give thanks to GOD for the gifts that our planet shares with us should be our spiritual act of worship to our Creator, and not to the things He has created for us.
Job was inspired to write in verse 8 that the Earth can instruct us, and in fact, historical records from various civilizations do help us and future generations to be productive and more diligent. Written stories of people groups, countries, or even a person can teach us how and why things happened in the past, how to learn from our mistakes in society, economy, politics, government and business. The natural sciences teach us about the universe, the creation, and the biology of life and death. Our planet holds a wealth of information for those of us who are grateful to God and stand in awe of His wisdom, power and goodness displayed throughout this beautiful and harmonic globe called Earth.
God has made us with an innate yearning for the world that once was, and the world that is coming, where there will be no more death, pain and suffering, a world that was once called the Garden of Eden. The Bible teaches us that we are not permanent citizens of the Earth, but rather our citizenship is in the place we call Heaven, and one day He will recreate the Earth and make it all new just as He recreates all who trust in His name. This new Earth that the Bible speaks of will no longer be cursed, but will be transformed, redeemed and restored to its original glory! We often think of going to heaven to live with God, but God will actually be leaving heaven to come live with us in the New Earth that He is making for us. Talk about the ultimate witness relocation program! We will be with Jesus, and will be raised from the dead with flawless bodies just as He was resurrected after dying on the cross. God created the universe, the planets, and every living creature, and called them good, even though He knew that one day all of it would need redemption!
God will complete His original plan for His people to rule over the Earth and the curse will be reversed for all of eternity. As we learn from the Earth and its history, and care for the environment that nurtures all of life, we should be aware of the incredible blessings that God has given to us, and understand that the Earth and all of its inhabitants are a miraculous gift. Speak to the Earth, watch and learn to respect the cycle of life, and let it instruct you in the ways of the Lord. Stop, look, listen and observe the world you live in, and understand the incredible love of God for mankind and everything else He created. Let the earth teach you wisdom, courage, love, humility and most of all let it teach you about hope. May God and history teach us to move forward and learn from the mistakes we have made in order to establish a better world, and let the Earth teach us to be like Jesus in character and deed! I found this Ute Native American prayer as a summation for this devotional on Earth lessons-
Earth, Teach Me…..Native American Quote
Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with new light.
Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring ~ as mothers nurture their young.
Earth teach me courage ~ as the tree that stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation ~ as the ant that crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom ~ as the eagle that soars in the sky.
Earth teach me acceptance ~ as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal ~ as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself ~ as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness ~ as dry fields weep with rain.
 “Earth Teach Me Stillness” by Nancy Wood, from Earth Prayers from Around the World: 365 Prayers, Poems and Invocations for Honoring the Earth, edited by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon. Copyright HarperOne, 2009.