The environmental consequence of evil

The book of Genesis in the Bible gives a glimpse into the agrarian and pastoral beginnings of earth’s civilizations, the rise of tyranny and evil, and the destruction that God brought upon the earth in order to cleanse and “re-boot” society for its extreme perversion and wickedness.

In the resulting “do-over”, the Scriptures focus in on Israelites and their covenant with God to live righteously–loyal to God and His standards and abstaining from the wickedness that had previously plunged humanity into chaos. But, the Israelites were prone to stray from their commitment to God.

The Promise

God appealed to His people over the centuries, offering blessing and abundance for their continued commitment to the covenant He had made with them.

 

“If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit.

Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time. You will thus eat your food to the full and live securely in your land.

‘I shall also grant peace in the land, so that you may lie down with no one making you tremble. I shall also eliminate harmful beasts from the land, and no sword will pass through your land. Leviticus 26:3-6″

He also laid out the consequences if the people chose evil–the land itself would be made hostile against them.

“I will also break down your pride of power; I will also make your sky like iron and your earth like bronze.
‘Your strength will be spent uselessly, for your land will not yield its produce and the trees of the land will not yield their fruit.

‘If then, you act with hostility against Me and are unwilling to obey Me, I will increase the plague on you seven times according to your sins.

‘I will let loose among you the beasts of the field, which will bereave you of your children and destroy your cattle and reduce your number so that your roads lie deserted. Leviticus 19-22.”

The Consequences of King Saul

God repeatedly was forced to keep His word and allow the Israelites to experience the consequences of their actions. In one specific example, King Saul was the cause of a famine in the land as a consequence for his killing of the Gibeonites, a people that the Israelites had a covenant with.

“Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David sought the presence of the LORD. And the LORD said, “It is for Saul and his bloody house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.”

King David, Saul’s successor, sought out the remaining Gibeonites and made restitution for the evil that Saul had done to them, and this resolution pacified the Lord’s displeasure and He ended the famine.

“and after that God was moved by prayer for the land. 2 Samuel 21:14b”

At some point in his life, King David affirms what he had been taught and what he experienced first-hand in regards to consequence upon the land.

“Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.
O God, when You went forth before Your people,
When You marched through the wilderness, Selah.
The earth quaked;
The heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God;
Sinai itself quaked at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
You shed abroad a plentiful rain, O God;
You confirmed Your inheritance when it was parched.
Your creatures settled in it;
You provided in Your goodness for the poor, O God. Psalm 68:6-10″