Back to the Past
Preface: “Genuine progress toward caring for our natural environment rests upon both personal and cooperative effort. We accept the challenge to work toward restoring God’s overall design. Moved by faith in God, we commit ourselves to promote the healing that rises at both personal and environmental levels from integrated lives dedicated to serve God and humanity.”—Excerpted from “A Statement on the Environment by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.”
If the earth were as small as the moon, the power of gravity would be too weak to retain sufficient atmosphere for human needs; but if it were as large as Jupiter, Saturn, or Uranus, extreme gravitation would make human movement almost impossible! If we were as near to the sun as Venus, the heat would be unbearable; if we were as far away as Mars, we would experience snow and ice every night even in the warmest regions.
If the oceans were only half their present dimensions, we would receive only 1/4 the rainfall we do now; if they were 1/8 larger, our annual precipitation would increase fourfold, and this earth would become a vast, uninhabitable swamp!
Water solidifies at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. It would be disastrous if the oceans were subject to that law, for then, the amount of thawing in the polar regions would not balance out, and ice would accumulate throughout the centuries. To prevent such a catastrophe, the Lord put salt in the sea to alter its freezing point.*
Nature was created perfectly—not just out of God’s whims or caprices. There was a far better plan. When all was complete—when the land was ready to be inhabited, and the day of rest was blessed, God created His masterpiece—humankind—and placed them in the most beautiful part of earth, the Garden of Eden. He gave Adam and Eve an authority over all the great riches around them, along with the warning. And that’s not all! God understands that human happiness could not be fulfilled merely by supplying our physical necessities.
It is good to know that we are doing just fine today: food to eat, homes to live in, clothes to wear, jobs to do. As Christians, however, we are additionally thankful for the very privilege that we are alive, and we have a hope that someday we will live eternally with our God.
When I was in my fifth year in college, I was having a hard time solving a problem in my engineering class. When my professor assessed my work, he said, “You know where your problem is? You’re forgetting the basics. Return to your algebra.”
Algebra had been my very first math class in my first year of college! But when I did what he told me, the problem seemed to be so easy.
Revisiting the basics seems so inappropriate nowadays, but it gives us a sense of completion, a solid direction to go. So the next time you’re getting weary with this life and feel as if there’s nowhere to go, read Genesis 2, enter your time machine, begin your journey to the past, and relive the great history of early earth.
* Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations, pp. 350, 351.
Zierene P. De Leon, Bulacan, Philippines