In this chapter of Deuteronomy, Moses talks about what will become of the people if they follow the Lord's will, laws and commandments. He pulls no punches in telling the people that they have wronged the Lord but what strikes me here and other places is that the Lord doesn't remove His promise of the Promised Land (although at times He was tempted to and Moses intervened on Israel's behalf).
But the chapter talks about the land, about Israel being given the land. We can assume that Israel will one day receive their land - the Lord does not lie - but then what? What are they to do in order to keep it, in order to be supported by it? The answer, Moses says, is to keep the Lord's will and His laws.
Yet today at church I was reminded that we listen and cling onto the laws about how we relate to each other but not so much about how we should relate to the land. The mainstream churches have not, yet, been a voice for the land but a voice for the people to exploit the land. One of the words I heard was 'dominate the land' - yes we can do that. But we can dominate and not destroy, we can have control of the land and not destroy it.
We can certainly do better than we are today.
I'm not advocating the mainstream churches become part of the Greens or the environmental movements; although I have seen that there are now theologians who bring the environment into the realm of theology. I don't actually believe we need to do this to save the earth, God's creation. What we need to do is remember who gave it to us.
God gave it to us.
And we should respect His earth as much as we are commanded to respect the little children who come to Him. Although I firmly believe it is quite impossible for us to destroy His creation, without His earth - the land in which we live - how can we perceive any children coming to His hands, where would have Jesus ministered?
We need to take heed of what the environmentalists are saying and I think together we can present a comprehensive, not just a 'scientific' reason for reducing our impact on the earth, on God's creation; and we need to do this sooner rather than later.