God Doesn’t Hate Treehuggers
There’s a rumor going around that God hates environmentalists.
That’s just one of the many falsehoods and divisive issues America is contending with currently.
As with many of the other topics dividing us, there’s a gross lack of knowledge and he said/she said that just doesn’t come from a basis of truth.
Fortunately, there are many scriptures that describe God’s love for mankind, living creatures, and nature as a whole.
The book of Psalms is my favorite book of the Bible. The chapters are full of passion, gratitude, peacefulness, love, praise, and raw emotion. Check out this verse:
“What a wildly wonderful world, God!
You made it all, with Wisdom at your side,
made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.
Oh, look — the deep, wide sea,
brimming with fish past counting,
sardines and sharks and salmon.
Ships plow those waters,
and Leviathan, your pet dragon, romps in them.
All the creatures look expectantly to you
to give them their meals on time.
You come, and they gather around;
you open your hand and they eat from it.
If you turned your back,
they’d die in a minute —
Take back your Spirit and they die,
revert to original mud;
Send out your Spirit and they spring to life —
the whole countryside in bloom and blossom.”
Psalm 104:24–30 (The Message Bible)
Those verses speak to my spirit and soul. When I read those scriptures, I sense a lot of love from them and that is why I am saddened by the quandary of society today.
Do you see the common theme? Love. Is love the villain we are fighting against? Are we that misguided? Are the team colors identified by who and what we love?
I wish it wasn’t a contradiction to say I am a Christian and I am an environmentalist. But that is where we find ourselves today.
The two terms I just used to describe myself have been stretched and marginalized to the point they don’t resemble their true meanings anymore.
The same is true in politics. The two main teams identify themselves as “far” right and “far” left.
Is the middle so repulsive?
Let me share another story from the Bible. This one fills me with intense emotion every time I think of it.
“…and sent Nathan to David. Nathan said to him, “There were two men in the same city — one rich, the other poor. The rich man had huge flocks of sheep, herds of cattle. The poor man had nothing but one little female lamb, which he had bought and raised. It grew up with him and his children as a member of the family. It ate off his plate and drank from his cup and slept on his bed. It was like a daughter to him.
“One day a traveler dropped in on the rich man. He was too stingy to take an animal from his own herds or flocks to make a meal for his visitor, so he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared a meal to set before his guest.”
David exploded in anger. “As surely as God lives,” he said to Nathan, “the man who did this ought to be lynched! He must repay for the lamb four times over for his crime and his stinginess!”
2 Samuel 12: 1–6 (The Message Bible)
This story is actually a parable and a lesson used by God to reprimand and punish David for his sin, yet it still beautifully describes God’s feelings toward all creation, including a lowly lamb.
God could’ve used any metaphor to deliver his message. The fact that he chose the little lamb as the poor man’s most cherished possession gets me every time.
I have one more story from the Bible I wanted to share. It’s from the Book of Job, the oldest book in the Bible.
Here, God is telling us we can learn much from the earth. If we would listen — be still, be quiet, and listen.
“But ask the animals what they think — let them teach you;
let the birds tell you what’s going on.
Put your ear to the earth — learn the basics.
Listen — the fish in the ocean will tell you their stories.
Isn’t it clear that they all know and agree
that God is sovereign, that he holds all things in his hand —
Every living soul, yes,
every breathing creature?
Isn’t this all just common sense,
as common as the sense of taste?
Do you think the elderly have a corner on wisdom,
that you have to grow old before you understand life?”
Job 12:7–12 (The Message Bible)
The purpose of this post is not to root for one team over the other. Nor elevate one platform above something else. I didn’t write this to declare a victory for one side.
My purpose is to bring us more to the middle without compromising our core. It’s definitely possible. In fact, it’s more than possible, it’s actually less effort.
Hate and discord will suck all the life and energy from anything it touches. So much effort it takes to hold that rope in a constant tug-of-war.
We are complex beings with a massive capacity to love. Our hearts can indeed house the love of God and the earth. All at once and all at the same time.
If you enjoyed this story, you may like this one as well.