What dual character he had–what contrast of thrill and pang, of blood and brain, of desert and civilization, of physical and spiritual, of nature and….”
–Zane Grey (Wanderer of the Wasteland)
“You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority—the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents.”
–Psalm 8:6-8 (NLT)
Adam was placed in the Garden. What was his purpose? Why did God place him there? It was not just to walk with God, or to lie down in the lush grass by the riverside where he could dip his big toe in the cool water. God placed Adam in the Garden to tend it. Creation was placed in the hands of man, to tend and to keep.
Man was created in the image of God, therefore, man was created to be God’s representative on earth. Man has a tremendous responsibility to care for that work of God. Remember, Jesus said that if man does not praise Him, then the rock would cry out. Bernard Brady states that, “Humans are commissioned to take care of the earth, use it appropriately, keep it healthy and beautiful. The world, after all, belongs to God, not to us. It will endure long past our lives.”
The term “worship” most often in the Scripture means “to do service.” There are many ways to worship, one of which is to be a caretaker of the Lord’s creation. Creation was made to do service for man; man then is the spokesman for creation.
“Man is, as it were, the high priest of God’s creation, to offer the sacrifice of praise for all his fellow-creatures. The Lord God expects a tribute of praise from all His works. Now, all the rest do bring in their tribute to man, and pay it by his hand. So then, if a man is false, and faithless, and selfish, God is robbed of all, and has no active glory from His works.” (Joseph Alleine)
But man, in his relation to creation, has not been a good steward. Man has despoiled creation. Man, because of sin, is guilty of robbing and spoiling the praise that belongs to God.
Ponder for a moment–food serves to nourish man to strengthen man to work for God. But with sin the work is rotten. Light from the sun is to give light for the accomplishment of God’s work through man. But with sin, it is hated for sin loves the darkness and the work that is done in the light is for the selfishness of man. Clothes were made so that you could work in all kinds of weather, is now used to satisfy man’s craving for self. All these things from the earth are all in vain unless there is salvation and the believer recognizes his duty, service, and responsibility to his Creator.
One of my very favorite books is Wanderer of the Wasteland. There are so many scriptural analogies in the book. Here is one passage from the pen of Zane Grey from this wonderful book.
“The clean white sand, the mesquites bursting into green, the nodding flowers in the grassy nooks under the great iron-rusted stones, the rugged, upheaved slope of mountain, and to the east an open vista between the trees where the desert stretched away gray and speckled and monotonous, down to the dim mountains over which the sun would rise; these could not but be pleasant and helpful. Love of life could not be separated from such things.”
Yet, because of sin, the “whole creation groaneth”. (Romans 8:22) Under “unsanctified men who pervert all things to the service of their lusts,” (Alleine) nature groans waiting for the curse to be removed. Ask me why there are so many “natural disasters” and I will say it is part of nature’s groaning, asking God to remove the curse. This was not the purpose of creation.