Then God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. (Genesis 2:15—NIV)

We are daily bombarded with information about the health of the earth. Scientists are scrambling to make sense of all sorts of data being collected worldwide. Global warming vs. lack of sunspots, polar ice melting vs. record cold and global temperature drop, rain forest deforestation vs. news that the pine tree is the greatest polluter of all trees. It is a wonder that no one has yet sought to calculate how much green house gas is produced worldwide by termites. I can’t wait for the speculations on how to fix that problem.

What are we to do? As fast as the U.S. cleans its air, the Chinese pollute their air and it is carried over the Pacific by the winds and becomes our air. Do we buy fluorescent bulbs to reduce energy consumption and introduce their mercury content into our homes and landfills? It sure seems there is no real sensible plan being promoted anywhere.

Science gives snapshots of information and, depending upon one’s respective worldview, theories are developed detailing steps to take to bring the world back into a balance pleasing to that individual’s perspective. Pure science is lost in worldviews and theories. The one common ground we all hold is that there is only one earth and it is all we and our families have to live upon for the rest of our natural lives. It all makes it hard for "little old me" to know who to believe and what I can and should do. So back to the Bible we go.

Genesis is filled with some amazing gems for life today. It starts with the pacesetting words, "In the beginning God created the heaven and earth." From this we know He owns all and is the Author of all. He set the ebbs and flows, the seasons and the epochs, the cycles and the orbits. Our role is a stewardship role for we are not owners of the planet and universe, nor the controllers of them, He is.

The order of creation and its focus is instructive. Man is created out of the earth. He is part of nature, and he is the thinking part of nature. Genesis 1:26 records the counsel of the Godhead detailing man’s purposeful role in relation to creation. He is created in the image of God, God makes man stand in the shadow of His role, as a "dominion-haver." Man does not serve the environment but he does serve God with a stewardship role over the environment. Genesis 2:28 records that God gave to man and woman the order to "be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and rule over it."

Many today would think these notions are archaic and must bend to the current theories. I believe that these words, taken in context, are invaluable for us today. Remember, these ordinances were given to man in his pre-fallen state, just as is stated in our main text.

Genesis 2 details the creation of man, the creation of the Garden of Eden, and man’s placing in the garden precisely to tend and keep it. Work is hereby dignified as fit for a representative of the image of God. Adam’s procedure was to promote order inside and, it appears, outside of the garden. "Tend" is to till, to labor in the earth. "Keep" is to guard, preserve, protect and to keep safe. These are transcendent values.

Thinking stewardship requires good science and maintaining a healthy balance between tending and keeping. The values arising from these two words include consequence mindedness, clean industriousness, accountability to the Owner, partnership with the Creator, environmental stewardship balanced with caring for man as God’s highest creation, and dependence upon God. God didn’t say it would be easy and man’s sin sure complicated the matter.

While we do not worship creation we do honor the Creator by good stewardship. How does biblical thinking mold your perspective on the news and your stewardship of your resources? What godly steps do you need to take in order to trust and obey?