Al Gore couldn’t be more correct and couldn’t be more wrong. He recently compared his battle to save the environment with the civil rights struggle that went on back in the 60’s. According to him, all the evils that have affected Mother Nature can be laid right at the doorstep of mankind. Well, I couldn’t agree more. In fact, the Bible says that very thing. The prophet Isaiah exclaimed, “The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants…”
Now I’m no environmentalist, but, if I’m honest with myself, I have to acknowledge that our planet is being systematically destroyed by the innumerable toxins released into the atmosphere, water system and earth by man. Do I believe we should stop off-shore oil drilling and limit industrial progression to save some obscure beetle that is on the Endangered Species list? No because I don’t believe that is the answer.
What Al Gore apparently cannot comprehend is that the contaminating agent destroying Planet Earth is not physically but morally based. The rest of Isaiah’s statement provides the missing element:
“The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant. Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and those who live in it are held guilty. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left.” (Isaiah 24:5-6)
The root meaning of the Hebraic term “polluted” (chĂ˘nĂŞph) Isaiah employed in this passage means “that which has fallen away.” This word is always used in a moral sense in Scripture. For instance, the psalmist claimed that the innocent blood of children being shed in pagan rituals—very reminiscent of our abortion mills—pollutes the land. (Psalm 106:38) In Numbers 35:33, Moses pointed out that every form of murder pollutes the land. Even apostasy contributes to the world’s pollution according to Jeremiah. (Jeremiah 3:2, 9)
The real culprit of the contamination of the earth is man’s sin against each other and rebellion to his Maker. We simply cannot escape the fact that there is a very real connection between our moral actions and our physical environment. As goes one, so goes the other.
Yes, Isaiah’s apocalyptic statement anticipates a Day of momentous implications. Life on Earth, as we know it, is headed for destruction. And I see no great benefit afforded it in fighting to “save the whales” when our entire planet is doomed to extinction. But I do see a very urgent need to call on people to repent of the sins that lay at the foundation of all of mankind’s troubles. Yes, let us do our fair share save the planet. Let’s start today—now even—by contritely approaching our Creator and repenting of every known sin we have committed that is affecting our environment.