In LCC’s Pollution Confusion I discussed how using the passage from Numbers to advocate against polluting the oceans was a confusion of the two kingdoms and had little if anything in common with the pollution World Oceans Day was intended to address.
After the article was posted I got some pushback “What would you do?” and I’d like to address that question in this article.
I’d start with recognizing the order of precedence starting with “Who owns creation?”
11 Thus shall you say to them: “The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.”
12 It is he who made the earth by his power,
who established the world by his wisdom,
and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.
13 When he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,
and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning for the rain,
and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses. Jeremiah 10:11-13
The earth is the Lord‘s and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein,
2 for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers. Psalm 24:1-2
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Matthew 28:18
Being that each and every one of us is only a here for a little while and that all of our “possessions” – even our life itself – is from the Lord, it only stands to reason that we’re simply caretakers of someone else’s property working under Christ’s authority.
Using Scripture to interpret Scripture we learn that’s exactly the case:
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in his own image,
the image of God he created him;
and female he created them.
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.”
And it was so. Genesis 1:26-30
Job reiterates this point:
“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:7-10
Having established “Whose planet is this anyway?” the next step is to ask the very Lutheran question “What does this mean?”
That’s the next article.