Tuesday: The Sabbath and the Environment
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As we have seen, the concept of stewardship, in the context of the way in which we take care of the planet, is tied directly to the Creation.

Image © John Baker from GoodSalt.com

Image © John Baker from GoodSalt.com

Our views on Creation will influence our views on the way in which we should relate to the Creation.

For some, the Creation is to be exploited, used, even pillaged to whatever degree necessary in order to fulfill our own desires and wants. Others, in contrast, all but worship the Creation itself (see Rom. 1:25). Then there is the biblical view, which should give us a balanced perspective on the way in which we relate to the world that the Lord created for us.

Read Exodus 20:8-11. What do we find in this commandment that relates to stewardship?

“God set aside the seventh-day Sabbath as a memorial and perpetual reminder of His creative act and establishment of the world. In resting on that day, Seventh-day Adventists reinforce the special sense of relationship with the Creator and His creation. Sabbath observance underscores the importance of our integration with the total environment.”-Excerpted from “Caring for Creation—A Statement on the Environment.”

By pointing us to the fact that God created us and the world that we inhabit, the Sabbath is a constant reminder that we are not wholly autonomous creatures able to do whatever we wish to others and to the world itself. Sabbath should teach us that we are, indeed, stewards, and that stewardship entails responsibilities. And, as we can see in the commandment itself, responsibility extends to how we treat those who are “under” us.

Think about how you treat other people, particularly those who are under your dominion. Are you treating them with respect, fairness, and grace? Or are you taking advantage of the power that you have over them? If the latter, remember, you will one day have to answer for your actions.

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Tuesday: The Sabbath and the Environment — 10 Comments

  1. We as Adventist when we observe the Sabbath, we are indeed being responsible towards the environment. According to Leviticus 25:3-6 the Lord tells us to sow our fields in six days.BUT on the seventh day is a holy solemn rest not only for us human beings but also for the Land.

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    • When we look at the big picture that God painted for his people, we see the Sabbath as the center of that picture. God created Adam and Eve, the next act of creation was the Sabbath. The Sabbath was created for man. Therefore, it was and is the intention of God to use that time for Him and Man to meet togather. When he established Israel he setforth Sabbaths for them, Feast, sabbaths, weekly sabbath, yearly, sabbath and the one important Nationel Sabbath that in my opinion the world needs more than any thing to solve thair financial mess, that is the Jublee Sabbath, Lev.25:9-17

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  2. I know that the Lord can convict us of those times when we have taken our gifts and authority and used them unwisely. Especially, when it deals with how I treat people and animals I pray that I will be open to the Holy Spirit to know when I have not been right. He can help me do what I can to remedy past actions and learn how to appropriately use gifts and authority in the future. In God is grace and hope, and I am so thankful for Him and His teaching and leading in my life.

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  3. What is meant by, "Sabbath observance underscores the importance of our integration with the total environment?” Integrate means to bring together as a whole or unite as one. If we have dominion over it, how can we then be united as one with it?

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    • We are under dominion of God, but it was Jesus' prayer that we be One with Him and His Father. It would seem then, that a proper dominion is only found in oneness. Anything other than this is no different than any earthly hierarchy and a system of caste. Being one with the environment as it's caretakers would lead to treating that environment with due consideration for the best interest of all who dwell within it.

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    • Diane, I am one with my family even though I have dominion over my family. It is that oneness that helps me govern with sensitivity towards those I serve, recognizing that the happiness and well being of one impacts the happiness and well being of all. This, in my view, is the idea behind the oneness with creation that is referenced in the lesson.

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  4. God made the world in six days. The seventh day,He rested. When we rest on the Sabbath,we show that we want to spend time with Him. Also,on the weekdays,some of us plant new trees or take care of our pets. On the Sabbath, we stop our weekend plans,forget about them,and listen to the still,small voice of God. I think the sabbath is great,and you should too. God wants us to spend time with Him, that's why He created the Sabbath day,so we could spend time with Him. We should try every Sabbath,to spend some time with Him,maybe at a park,and look at the nature around us. God created the environment for us to enjoy. God loves to make us happy,and to say thank you, we should take care of this world. Remember, God wants us to take care of the environment. God bless you!

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  5. Good time management through six days a week leads us toward time, Sabbath and environment stewardship.

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