Biblical basis of environmental stewardship

Keith B Miller (
Wed, 26 Jun 1996 08:44:26 -0500

Below is a portion of an outline I developed for an adult Sunday school
class on "Life and Stewardship"


1. Biblical basis of environmental stewardship
a) God cares for His creation
God declares all that He has made very good Genesis 1:31
God is revealed in the present creation Job 38-41
God takes pleasure in creation for its own sake independently of
any utilitarian value to humans. Wild nature glorifies God.
The Earth is the Lord's possession Psalm 95:1-5
All creation praises God Psalm 148
God sustains and provides for His creation
God is active in the world, providing for the needs of its
creatures. Psalm 104
God is continually creating. His creative power is continually at
work. Psalm 104:29-30
God cares for the sparrow and lily. Matthew 6:25-30
In Christ all things hold together Colossians 1:15-20
b) All creation is part of God's redemptive plan
God so loved the cosmos that He became incarnate John 3:16-17
The creator took upon Himself creation. The word became flesh.
John 1:1-18
Creation groans in anticipation of our redemption. Romans 8:18-22
Creation rejoices at the promise of God's judgement. Psalm 96:11-13
c) We are given stewardship responsibility over creation
As God's image bearers we are give commission to rule, subdue,
serve and care for creation. Genesis 1:26-28, 2:15
Our example of godly rule is that of sacrificial service.
The responsibility of the kings of Israel was to serve the poor,
widow, orphan, and oppressed.
We are to image Christ in His humility Philippians 2:6-8
The greatest will be the least Matthew 10:1-5, 20:25-28
Old Testament law protected the land and animals
Sabbath rest included animals. Deuteronomy 5:12-15
Sabbatical year command to let land rest. Leviticus 25:1-7
The captivity of God people was in part a result of failure to obey
this command. Leviticus 26:32-36, II Chronicles 36:20-21
The good and the prosperity of the land and people were intimately
Parable of the talents Matthew 25:14-30
We have been given of God's resources as trustworthy stewards. Are
we deserving of His trust?

2. How can we rule creation in sacrificial love recognizing that all life
has intrinsic value to God?
Get to know God's creation
Adam's first task was to name what God had made.
Over what has God given us stewardship?
Think holistically
How can we act for the good of all creation, not just the perceived
good of humanity?
Consider cost to environment of economic decisions.
Think sacrificially
What can we sacrifice for the sake of the rest of creation?
Conserve what is renewable
Manage resources for future sustainability.
Preserve what is irreplaceable
Seek replacements for non-renewable resources.
Wild pristine environmentsand ecosystems are irreplaceable.


Keith B. Miller
Department of Geology
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506