The New Interpreter’s Study Bible commentary on Jeremiah 4:23ff mentions the vast ecological destruction as creation falls apart, implying a return to the chaos prior to God’s creative work. The observation connects that state of creation, the environment, with Israel’s relationship with God. I probably won’t go there this week; however it does raise the interesting question: Can we glean something about our relationship with God in the state of the environment?
I’m not thinking in terms of divine punishment. I am wondering if our misuse, abuse, of the environment as we seek to extract more and more resources, is easier to do because we do not believe the world belongs to God, because we do not have a deep relationship with God, and therefore God’s creation. Furthermore, for those who see environmental destruction, the most popular response (my observation) is a turn to technology, turning to “another god.” Rarely is there honest discussion about real behavioral changes in our relationship to the environment, as reflective of our relationship with our creator God.
It’s a notoriously complex subject, with many divergent opinions, conflicting research, and little respect for other’s views. … and that sounds disturbingly familiar.