This Week's Article
While the Earth Remains
By Colly Caldwell
“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22).
We live in a troubled world. Trade and commerce are less dependable; businesses are either yielding little profit, becoming stagnant or going under; millions are out of work; costs are rising and the poor are losing heart; and we have experienced a terrible health pandemic worldwide. When the pundits are asked if signs of returning to normalcy are on the horizon, they offer no real hope near at hand. And while all that is going on, the weather and the atmosphere of the earth are preeminent concerns of many world leaders, of citizens of many nations, and even among believers in God.
I am not a scientist. I do know that the Lord told Adam and Eve to “dress and KEEP” the garden. Thus, we should take care of our environment as best we can. That said, I am not one to use as an authority on WHETHER (or to what degree) man’s activities have any substantial affect upon the WEATHER (climate) of the earth.
Further, I don’t know if what one (or a few) of the world leaders decide to do will actually change the atmosphere of the earth by enacting new consumer laws or prohibitive regulations. But here is what I know: "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease." (Genesis 8:22).
FIRST, LET’S LOOK AT OUR BIBLE TEXT (Genesis 8:22). It takes us back to the great flood. When the waters abated and the earth dried up so that Noah could safely come out of the ark, God made a cove-nant with mankind containing two sets of promises: FIRST, God said, "I will never again curse the ground for man's sake, although the imagination of man's heart [is] evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done” (vs. 21). SECOND, God said, "While the earth remains, seed-time and harvest, Cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease." In other words, the order of earth’s sustaining itself will be controlled and the seasons will continue. GOD WOULD SEE TO IT! God also gave a perpetual sign of this covenant: a rainbow (Gen. 9:12-17).
Now what part did man have in this? Of course it was God who promised to oversee, control, and maintain the earth. That was unconditional as far as man was concerned. The writer of Hebrews tells us that He “upholds all things by the word of His power (Heb. 1:3). And Paul explains that it is “By Him all things consist” (Col. 1:17).
But what prompted God to make those promises. Perhaps many things but read the verses that precede the promises... remember that God brought the flood on man because of his habitual and universal sin.
“Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma (vss. 20-21). The sacrifice of Noah seems to be a major TIPPING POINT.
SECOND, LET’S NOTICE CAREFULLY THAT THERE IS A SUBTLE WARNING IN THIS TEXT. “While the earth remains”. To say that implies that the earth will not always remain. There will be an end to it. As surely as we have this world today, at some point we will not. The balanced ecology of the earth has existed for centuries under God’s care. Remember, “God has appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by the man Christ Jesus.” “The things which are seen are temporal.” “The elements shall melt with fervent heat.” This world will pass away. Believers in the testimony of God look for a city with foundations whose builder and maker is God (Heb. 11:11). God will determine when earth shall end.
Now the exact time when the earth shall no longer remain is not told. Men are presently setting dates. One high ranking government official recently said that 2030 is a drop dead time for us to save the world’s well-being from environmental destruction (7 years). The uncertainty of the end of all things is intended by God to keep us continually on watch and on guard of our souls. We are to remain in expectation and never dream that we can reckon on a certain length of time before the end of this world.
We probably need to ask ourselves to consider what is in God’s control and what is our responsibility. The God-less world seems to have decided that they can manipulate even the atmosphere of the earth. They forget that God is the ruler of heaven and earth.