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Monday, March 07, 2011

Anthropogenic Climate Change

I know. I'd suspect that many of my readers don't believe in it. Some deny that there is any climate change. Others simply deny that it is anthropogenic. And, of course, there is a number of you who ask, "Okay ... what's 'anthropogenic'?" So, is there actually climate change caused by humans? Based on my belief that reality is defined by God, I'd have to say, "Yes!"
"You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes." Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Consider your ways! Go up to the mountains, bring wood and rebuild the temple, that I may be pleased with it and be glorified," says the LORD. "You look for much, but behold, it comes to little; when you bring it home, I blow it away. Why?" declares the LORD of hosts, "Because of My house which lies desolate, while each of you runs to his own house. Therefore, because of you the sky has withheld its dew and the earth has withheld its produce. I called for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grain, on the new wine, on the oil, on what the ground produces, on men, on cattle, and on all the labor of your hands" (Haggai 1:6-11).
I'd have to say that, biblically, there is such a thing. Well, technically, God does it, but He does it as judgment on human sin.

What was the problem in Haggai that caused God to bring this climate change about as a judgment against His people? Well, they were in Jerusalem, having returned to build the Temple. They were told, "Stop rebuilding the Temple" ... sixteen years before. Since then, Artaxerxes was gone and Darius was in. So, there they sat, fixing up their own houses, without paying any heed to the task for which they were sent. "Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?" God asks (Haggai 1:4). It appears, then, that the problem was neglect of God's house because they were giving preference to their own. As a result, they would sow without harvest, eat without satisfaction, drink without sufficiency, dress without enough clothes, and earn money that simply slipped away.

I have to say, it sounds really familiar. It sounds a lot like American Christianity. We're really good at taking care of ourselves. We work hard at getting ahead. We have more than we need to eat, to drink, to wear. And still, somehow, we're not satisfied. Worse, there's a drought!

Now, I'm not suggesting, in fact, that "Global Warming" is God's judgment. I wouldn't begin to rule it out, but that's just not my point. My point is that we -- yes, we -- need to consider our ways. I know it is true with me, and I suspect I'm not alone. It is really easy to get more caught up in comfort than concern for God's interests. "I'll get to it, God," we think. But we're not. "That would cost me more than I can afford," crosses our minds. It won't. What we cannot afford is to place our own comfort over what God wants. No, what we really need is the response God gave them when they obeyed (Haggai 1:12) -- "'I am with you,' declares the LORD" (Haggai 1:13). That is what we need. And that would certainly be a change in the spiritual climate.

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