One Year Bible: I Samuel 22:1-23:29, John 10:1-21; Psalm 114:1-8; Proverbs 15:18-19
The sea looked and fled, the Jordan turned back;
the mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs.
You see a lot of earth worship these days. If you don’t know what I am talking about, pay a little more attention to what is going on in the environmental movement. In my view, a radical form of environmentalism that is tantamount to idolatry has replaced common sense stewardship of the earth. Earth worship, to be precise—the worship of creation over the Creator.
Think about it: Blind loyalty, if not fawning love, is offered to the cosmos, monetary offerings are given to uphold its cause, the words of its high priests are revered without challenge, its message is spread by aggressive followers with the fervor of door-to-door evangelists, and those who don’t readily accept the message are mocked and marginalized.
Sounds like a religion to me!
Now don’t get me wrong, I love the earth. I think God brought his A game when he created this planet. But don’t miss the point: Like everything else, it was created. And we, as the highest order of God’s creation, were given the assignment to manage the rest of creation on God’s behalf—and that includes lovingly and wisely caring for Planet Earth. But we are the earth’s stewards, not its Savior, and while this planet is our home, don’t confuse it with our heaven. We are simply to watch over the created cosmos, being careful not to cross over the thin line that exists between watching and worshiping.
Grasping this is so important, you see, because the earth actually worships its Creator. That’s what this psalm is about. And though God has put the systems in place that run the physical world day in and day out, season by season, eon after eon, every once in a while he breaks back into it and commands the cosmos to fulfill extraordinary things for his purposes. Those extraordinary acts are, in reality, nothing more than the release of pent up praise the creation longs to give its Creator. In other words, during those extraordinary moments of earth-shattering activity, the planet is praising.
And yet, when the earth simply goes about doing what the earth does—rising and resting with each twenty-four hour period, moving seamlessly from one season to the next—it too, in those ordinary moments, is offering praise to the One who created it and by his mighty power, sustains it. Moment-by-moment, day-by-day, year-by-year, the earth is worshiping.
The creation worships its Creator. What an awesome thing to consider. What an amazing thing to behold. I don’t want to get caught up worshiping something that worships Someone else. Do you? I want to give my worship to the Creator, and as I care for his creation, even then, I am offering him his rightful worship.
Earth worship! Sure go ahead. Join the earth in worship of its Creator.
“The whole earth is a living icon of the face of God. … I do not worship matter. I worship the Creator of matter who became matter for my sake, who willed to take His abode in matter, who worked out my salvation through matter. Never will I cease honoring the matter which wrought my salvation! I honor it, but not as God. Because of this I salute all remaining matter with reverence, because God has filled it with his grace and power. Through it my salvation has come to me.”
~ St. John of Damascus