Why the prospect of global warming worries me as much as nuclear Armageddon, an asteroid strike or the Large Hadron Collider. That is: not at all.
Forty years ago it was a very real danger that nuclear Armageddon was just a button press away. Twenty years ago and we were all going to die in an ice age. Over the last decade we’re all doing to die because of global warming. In the last year it was the turn of the LHC to become the next doom of mankind where it was going to create a black hole that would wipe the earth out of existence.
You would be forgiven for thinking that the Western World is obsessed with the apocalypse – the end of everything.
And the thing is some of the dangers are or were real and present: the prospect of a nuclear war between Russia and the USA was a reasonable possibility. Indeed, with the news coming out of Korea and Iran then it looks like nuclear war may be back on the agenda. An asteroid strike would require slightly more bad luck but it is a possibility rather than impossibility. Fortunately global warming is as about as scientific as the earth being flat.
It doesn’t worry me
Of course, that might be because I’m an idiot, mad or just too lazy to be bothered to care. Or it might be because I happen to be a huge fan of Psalm 103 v 19
“The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.”
“Our God is in heaven;
he does whatever pleases him.”
Psalm 115 v 3
Together these two verses (and many others!) teach the absolute sovereignty of God. That is to say in all matters his will is done. What God plans happens. What happens happens according to God’s plan. Nothing can oppose God, there is no area outside of his control, there is nothing or no one that can resist his purposes. Such is the complete, utter and final sovereignty of God.
“Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation.
All the peoples of the earth
are regarded as nothing.
He does as he pleases
with the powers of heaven
and the peoples of the earth.
No one can hold back his hand
or say to him: "What have you done?”
Daniel 4 v 34 – 35
King Nebuchadnezzar expresses this great truth about God right after being under God’s punishment. He realizes God’s power and control over all things.
Well, we have a promise God made all the way back in Genesis to Noah:
“As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease”
Genesis 8 v 22
Well, that puts global warming firmly in its redundant place. God controls the weather; ipso facto God controls the earth’s climate. Therefore, as we have the above promise from God we can be quite sure that global warming is about as concerning as the threat of the simultaneous spontaneous combustion of the entire human race.
What about the ‘science’?
It all boils down to a matter of trust: who do I trust more? Do I trust God in his infinite power and wisdom or man in his folly? Hmmm, difficult one.
The same truth applies to asteroid strikes, nuclear Armageddon or any other end of the world theory. The Bible states that the world will end when Jesus returns. Nothing else will cause the apocalypse. Nothing else could for what God has decided stands.
“"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
Matthew 6 v 25 - 27
It is of no surprise to find this among Jesus’ teaching. He uses the truth of God’s sovereignty to show the uselessness of worrying. We need to trust God. As you can see Jesus argues from the bottom up. If God cares for even the birds of the air how much more will he care for humanity? Again, trust God.
"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6 v 28 - 34
Jesus continues his teaching and hammers the point home. Do not worry – trust God.
Global warming? Don’t worry. Trust God. Nuclear Armageddon? Don’t worry. Trust God. Asteroid strike? Giant solar flare, world epidemic, reversal of earth’s magnetic fields, Yellowstone Park volcano erupting, sun dying out, alien invasion… Don’t worry. Trust God.
As the Bible says:
“From the east I [God] summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do.”
Isaiah 46 v 11
“…which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.”
1 Timothy 6 v 15 - 16
“All the ends of the earth
will remember and turn to the LORD,
and all the families of the nations
will bow down before him,
for dominion belongs to the LORD
and he rules over the nations.”
Psalm 22 v 27 - 28