Bible study: Our stewardship of natural resources

Bible studyNatural Resources

Our stewardship of natural resources

As a couple, we are experienced in environmental science and church leadership. We are enthusiastic about the many references to nature in the Bible and God’s call to us to work with creation in a way that protects and cares for what God has made.

Opening discussion

Describe how you look after nature. This might be a garden, a small vegetable plot, an animal, or even a houseplant.

  • What are the important factors in helping your part of nature flourish?

Read Genesis 2:1-15

  • How did God ask Adam to care for the garden?
  • What does this mean for how we care for the natural world and our use of natural resources?

Read Genesis 1:26-2:3

The term ‘dominion’ (Genesis 1:28 in some Bible translations) has sometimes been misunderstood to mean we can do what­ever we like with nature. It actually means ‘to rule over’ and gives humans the responsibility of leadership.

  • What does biblical dominion involve?
  • The word ‘stewardship’ is sometimes used to explain biblical dominion. How does this help?

Read Leviticus 19:1, 9-15, 23-24

  • How does biblical stewardship focus on God while balancing the needs of humans and the natural world?

Discussion

  • How could you apply the principles of biblical stewardship to your local surroundings?
  • Who would you need to involve?
  • How could you develop a plan and see it through to completion?
  • If the environment you live in is under stress, how can you improve it?
  • If there is serious human need as well as environmental stress, how can you help the environment and people at the same time?

Practical action

Find out whether organisations in your area look at environmental management and human care together. How can Christians work with others in the community to help do this?

Martin Hodson is an environmental scientist. Margot Hodson is a church pastor. They are husband and wife, and co-authors of Cherishing the Earth, how to care for God’s creation

Email: martin@hodsons.org
Website:
http://www.hodsons.org