Our Job is to Protect
No doubt Revelation 7 is one noted by a few Spanish priests in the 1480s who argued against Columbus’ sailing to their West to reach the East. “Four corners” could only be part of a flat earth.
While we depend upon the inspired scriptures, we should not try to make obviously literary writing into a set of facts. The writer clearly meant “every part of the earth.” The Bible is the inspired word of faith, not a geographical textbook.
There is a strong message for stewards here. “Do not harm the earth and sea….” This does not say that we are not to use the earth and sea, but rather that we are to protect them. A balance develops among all elements of nature.
If we read the scripture carefully, we see that destruction of the earth and seas is aligned with those who do not have the “seal of the living God.” Just as we are to protect the earth and seas, so God protects the faithful whom God has redeemed.
Another literary use provides a beautiful passage for us: “For the lamb…will be their shepherd….” Of course, the lamb of God is Jesus who is our shepherd.
Jesus guides us to the living water, just as he told the woman at Jacob’s well. Those redeemed by Jesus Christ shall never thirst. “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” The Lord is our shepherd. We must protect the gifts received from the shepherd.
—Dr. Robert Craig
- In what ways does the Bible provide direction for us today? Make a list of these ways.
- We need laws to protect the earth and seas today because of those who do not have the “seal of the living God.” In what ways is protection different for Christians living in the spirit of love?
- What lessons found in other parts of the Bible are there for Christians when there is use of the term “shepherd?”
- What does it mean for a steward to be redeemed?
How Do I Act?
- Consider some project your church can do to protect the earth. For example, do recycling, cleanup projects, etc. The project need not be big, but rather consistent. That’s how it will become far reaching.
- If it is feasible, arrange to take children of the church to visit a place in which sheep are tended. Then discuss the meaning of these passages of the Bible. (The adults might learn a lot!)
- If there is a science teacher available, or someone with a microscope, arrange to show some slides of water to children in the church. Then discuss what the “living water of God” means. Talk with the children about ways they can help keep their water clean.
- Part of our task as stewards is to feed the hungry. Plan ways to give more for such needs this year.