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Photo: David Crooks/Tearfund

From: Agriculture and climate change – Footsteps 70

How farmers across the world are adapting to climate change

Many early scientists were Christians and through their science investigated and learned about God’s creation. They talked about God’s revelation in the form of two books, the book of God’s works (his creation) and the book of God’s Word (as found in the Bible). We can see the same idea in the structure of Psalm 19, written by King David about 1,000 years before Christ. The first six verses speak of God’s works in creation while the following three verses (6-9) speak about God’s Word in the Bible.

Read Psalm 19:1-6

As a shepherd boy, David must have spent many hours looking up at the sky and becoming familiar with the stars, moon and planets.

Read Psalm 19:7-11

Here David draws a clear parallel between God’s physical laws controlling creation and God’s moral laws regulating human behaviour and relationships.

David had only a small fragment of God’s Word in the books of Moses. Today we have the whole Bible and, in particular, Jesus – the perfect image of God. But we live in a world where God is generally ignored, the Bible is largely unknown, God’s rules are often not followed and many people do what they like.

Putting both God’s books together (his creation and his Word) has big implications for the way we care for creation. From science we learn that human activities are causing rapid and damaging climate change. The poorer nations will bear the greater proportion of this damage and the much higher frequency and intensity of extremes such as floods and droughts.

As Christians, we should care for the whole of God’s creation. Urgent action is needed so that some of the worst damage of climate change can be avoided.

Read Psalm 19:12-14

These final three verses encourage us to apply God’s word to our personal actions, words and thoughts. David prays very beautifully for God’s help with obedience, so he can live out God’s revelation as presented in both his books. It is a prayer that we can regularly make our own.

Sir John Houghton is a Director of the John Ray Initiative (www.jri.org.uk) that connects environment, science and Christianity. His previous positions include Chief Executive, Meteorological Office, and Co-Chair, Scientific Assessment Working Group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

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