Genesis 1:25—So God made the wildlife of the earth according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and creatures that crawl on the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
Trophic cascade is an ecological phenomenon that occurs when top predators like wolves are added or removed from an environment.For example, when the gray wolf was eliminated from Yellowstone National Park the white-tailed deer population increased and this increase led to a decline in plants the deer ate. There is an entertaining YouTube video titled “How Wolves Change Rivers” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa5OBhXz-Q) which listed about nine effects the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone made. Before getting too excited about this video it is important to read the article “Maybe Wolves Don’t Change Rivers, After All,” (http://strangebehaviors.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/maybe-wolves-dont-change-rivers-after-all/).
When God made the earth, He created it with stability. Each creature He made had a distinctive purpose and place and the sum effect was to give the planet balance that God called “good.” When man interferes with God’s design all kinds of problems occur. After World War II the Brown Tree Snake was accidently released on the island of Guam. Today there are approximately 13,000 snakes per square mile. This ravenous predator succeeded in eliminating most of the lizard and bat species on the island and brought ten of the thirteen native bird species to extinction.
Have you ever considered that there might also be a phenomenon called spiritual cascade? Imagine what happens if Christians decide to be disengaged in the world? “Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods that God created to be received with gratitude by those who believe and know the truth” (4:1,-3). Disengaged believers and apostates cause all kinds of problems.
In contrast, engaged believers improve a sin-infested planet. Paul encouraged his spiritual son Timothy, “Let no one despise your youth; instead, you should be an example to the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Ti. 4:12). Timothy’s engagement meant that prayer was increased (2:1,2), men and women were instructed in how to live properly (2:8-11), standards were enacted for selecting godly leaders (3:1-12), warnings were delivered about false teachers (4:1-6), practical teaching was rendered (4:11-16), widows were supported (5:1-16), etc. Timothy made a positive difference in the world. God wants us to be engaged for His glory in obeying Him and living as His ambassadors. When you and I fulfill His purpose for our lives it is good!
If Jesus was willing to die for this troubled planet, maybe I need to care about it too. Maybe I should love the people who live on it more. Maybe I have a responsibility to do my part to love the world that Jesus loves so much.—Richard Stearns in The Hole in our Gospel
©2014 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)