As men scream for freedom of speech to support their causes, great or small, there is one voice that is being silenced and no one seems to care. It is the clear, yet ever so gentle voice of creation...
The heavens tell of the glory of God. The creation displays His marvelous craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make Him known. They speak without a sound or a word; their voice is silent in the skies; yet their message has gone out to all the Earth, and their words to all the world (Psalm 19:1-4).
Since the beginning of human existence, every individual on Earth has had the ability to look at nature and observe its wonders -- migrating birds flying south for the winter, the spectacular sight of leaves changing color on a cool autumn day, or the vibrant display cast into the sky as the sun sets over the mountains. These wonders serve as witnesses of a good and loving Creator.1 They proclaim loudly (in their own silent way) the very existence of their Creator and what He is like. Nature is so beautiful, because the One who made it is that way.
The determined fight of a salmon making its way back to the place of its birth is one witness. It awakens awe in everyone who hears of its struggle. The salmon is a small creature, yet it knows instinctively how to return home to spawn though hundreds of miles away in the sea. The brooding hen is another. Man can barely fathom what is in that bird that causes it to care so tenderly for its young 2.
When we are sensitive to the beauty around us-- like the way dandelions spread their seed -- and begin to take note of these small wonders (or grand ones), we too can testify that we have heard the speech of nature.
The horrible injustice of these days we live in is that many of these unique qualities in nature are being altered by man, and in some cases are vanishing all together. The effects of selfishness and greed are evident in our environment -- rivers and streams are polluted, animals are extinct, forests are cut down and even the air we breathe is no longer clean. In our desire to amass wealth and avoid suffering, we have destroyed the Earth and many of its inhabitants. The condition of the Earth is a striking reflection of the condition of the human heart.
The ecological crisis we find ourselves in today should come as no surprise. Some people saw it coming long ago -- even thousands of years. The great prophet Isaiah spoke about what would happen in the last days of this age. He said that when men and women stop acknowledging God and obeying their consciences then the Earth itself would be consumed with devastation and pollution. The witness of creation, which speaks of the goodness of God, would be silenced and those who dwell on the Earth would be held accountable.3 Certainly, this ancient prophecy is being fulfilled. What judgment, do you imagine, awaits those who take part in the destruction of the Earth?4 What will happen when the Earth loses its freedom of speech, and grows silent?
The magnificent civilization that is under construction is coming at a great cost to the Earth. Although people say that the Earth is their mother, their actions prove they don't care what happens to her. They do not heed her voice, nor the voice of their conscience. How will Mother Earth respond to the way they have treated her? Will she remain silent forever?
The ancient seers, the prophets of old spoke of a time when the Earth would break forth under the pain of her death throes and scream for justice. The guilt of humanity will be broadcast to the universe. These prophets said terrible times would come before the Last Day. Creation will cry out, not as before, but this time in horrible cries of desperation.
Like a woman in pain, ready to give birth, the Earth will moan as she brings forth her final statements before the end. The entire universe will watch as planet Earth writhes in agony, pleading with her inhabitants to turn back and honor their Creator. The once soft voice of the mother will turn into a violent rage. What will she say?
The elements that have for so long been a blessing will suddenly turn to curses. The oceans, rivers, and springs will turn to blood and all the creatures in them will die. Once-pleasant fragrances will be replaced by the stench of death. The sun's heat will intensify and the Earth's surface will be scorched with fire. The inhabitants will be burned and few will be left. Will anyone hear what she is trying to say?5
Then her foundations will split open with great force, destroying entire nations. Gigantic hailstones will fall from the sky, destroying buildings and crushing men. The sun will turn black and the moon red like the blood of a man. The Earth will reel and stagger like a drunk. She will sway like a hut in the wind because the rebellion on her surface is too much to bear.6 Why didn't men listen to her proclamations through the salmon, the hen, the dandelions, and the evening sunset? Why didn't they heed the warnings when the lightning bolt in a summer storm gave them a glimpse of the awesome power that she could unleash?
All this will take place before the Last Day can come. Only a few will even hear this final voice of warning and listen. Most will curse God and continue to suppress the truth in their conscience, not realizing that they are reaping what they have sown.7
The time for final judgment is just over the horizon, but there is still time to change and hear the gentle voice that tugs on your heart. Have you silenced that voice in your conscience? Do you go past the boundaries that you know you shouldn't -- hurting others and yourself? Have you taken advantage of others, disregarding how they feel, only to gain momentary pleasure for yourself? What you do with your life and how you treat other people directly affects the world around you. This is why the Earth is in the state it is in today. Do you see the connection?
We have entered a new millennium. What do you think lies in store for us? Greater prosperity? Continued degeneration? There is great anticipation in the air. Everyone has something to say because we have the freedom to speak. But shhhh... listen carefully, for there is another voice. Consider her warnings before the Last Day!