The Creator Revealed

Design In Ecology

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: TCR

Program Code: TCR180005B

00:02 Welcome back to The Creator Revealed.
00:03 Today, we've been talking about the beautiful relationships
00:07 that exist between God's creatures, and plants,
00:10 and organisms, and ecology.
00:13 And we see that it isn't all about struggle
00:17 and competition, is it?
00:18 No.
00:19 Actually, I would say my observation
00:22 is that life itself could not exist
00:24 unless there was this beautiful cooperation
00:28 that we observed between interdependent organisms.
00:32 In fact, I find that myself to be possibly or arguably
00:37 the most beautiful thing about the creation,
00:40 everything seems to need to work together
00:44 in a beautiful way for life itself to exist.
00:48 There's a sermon in that.
00:50 There probably is.
00:52 God wants from us isn't it?
00:53 On the subject of sermons,
00:56 during the break we were talking about how,
00:58 you know, people have this idea that somehow or other,
01:01 people with PhDs in theology is stuffy
01:03 and things like that.
01:05 But we're just delighted
01:07 right now to have Dr. Jo Ann Davidson with us,
01:10 somebody who is definitely not stuffy.
01:14 Dr. Davidson is a Professor of Systematic Theology
01:19 at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
01:22 at my alma mater, Andrews University.
01:25 Praise God.
01:26 Thank you so much for joining us, Dr. Davidson.
01:29 Oh, I'm glad to be invited when you talk about.
01:31 This subject is one of my favorite.
01:33 Exactly.
01:34 I mean, who doesn't love ecology,
01:37 especially, when we're coming at it from the perspective
01:40 that the Bible gives us on nature and the creation.
01:46 And I like that you talked about how this cooperation
01:50 must be there.
01:51 I mean, it's there.
01:52 And you as a biologist could have added
01:55 down to the cellular level even what is,
01:58 how all works together.
01:59 How individual cells have parts that work together,
02:02 cells work together and it just no matter
02:04 where you look,
02:05 there's wonderful cooperation.
02:08 And interestingly enough, we as human beings,
02:11 we instinctively know that there is something
02:14 wrong going on
02:15 when we see a breakdown of that cooperation,
02:19 things like cancer,
02:21 that's a breakdown of cooperation between cells.
02:27 And I believe, we naturally wince
02:30 when we see these sort of terrible things
02:33 that do occasionally occur in nature,
02:35 like lions killing gazelles and stuff.
02:38 We know in our hearts that that's just not the way
02:43 it's supposed to be.
02:45 The creation is broken in some profound way.
02:51 Oh, yes.
02:52 And, you know,
02:53 when people think about heaven,
02:55 they think about golden streets and playing harps on a cloud
02:58 but when God describes heaven in Isaiah 11,
03:01 He describes all of this cruelty being erased away.
03:06 The lions gonna lie down with the lamb
03:08 and the goat with the leopard
03:10 and a little kid can put his hand in a cobra's hole.
03:13 And then it says the reason why this is gonna happen
03:16 is because the world will be full of the knowledge of God
03:19 as the waters covered sea.
03:21 And so God is looking forward to this day too.
03:25 Someday His dreams for this planet
03:27 are gonna come true and He's looking for...
03:30 It's such a glorious thing.
03:33 And it's not just that these are kind of empty,
03:36 unfounded promises,
03:38 or something that we see out there.
03:43 These are things that we can see foreshadowing's
03:46 of already in the creation
03:48 as we look at these beautiful cooperative relationships.
03:52 And even occasionally, we see beautiful things
03:55 between human beings and creatures
03:57 that you wouldn't expect...
03:59 I think about those occasional stories
04:00 that you hear about lions that bond in some way
04:03 with human beings and it's such a...
04:06 Heartwarming. Yes.
04:07 It's a heart-warming and beautiful thing to see.
04:10 However, there is an argument that I've heard made
04:14 that goes basically like this.
04:16 If Jesus is coming again,
04:19 if there's going to be a new creation,
04:21 and if this old creation is broken,
04:27 why should we care about it,
04:30 why worry about taking care of nature at all and,
04:34 you know, being conservationists
04:36 or something like that.
04:37 This earth is going to be destroyed by fire
04:41 when Jesus comes, why should we worry about it?
04:47 Oh, that's a question I hear so much.
04:49 But I'm thinking then the people aren't aware
04:51 of the message of Scripture because before sin,
04:55 Adam and Eve were given a job to tend and to care
04:58 for the garden and there wasn't...
05:01 That was a privilege and a joy.
05:03 And why aren't we thinking
05:05 we need to work with that special instruction
05:08 even now, even though things are broken?
05:10 Why are we thinking of caring and tending
05:13 for this great place that God made?
05:15 I find it interesting in Psalm 98 and other places.
05:18 But it's very clear in Psalm 98
05:20 "All nature," it says,
05:22 "the rivers are clapping their hands,
05:24 the hills are joyful together, and all nature's rejoicing."
05:27 And then it gives the reason why,
05:29 it says because God is going to come to judge the world,
05:33 and judge the earth, and the people's with equity,
05:36 and it includes both the earth and the people's,
05:39 then God's gonna judge and He's gonna hold us
05:41 responsible for not caring for this great place
05:45 that He gave us.
05:46 In the Book of Revelation as the Bible closes,
05:48 I think it refers back to that.
05:50 Because in Revelation Chapter 7,
05:51 it talks about the angels holding back the winds
05:55 of strife from the earth and the sea and the trees
05:58 and finally, the elders around the throne say,
06:02 "It's time that you destroy those
06:04 who destroy the earth."
06:06 And heaven is watching and seeing if we appreciate
06:09 this great nest that God has given us.
06:12 Don't you think that part of the reason,
06:15 Dr. Davidson, that God gave us when He gave us dominion
06:20 we were to learn to rule in covenantal love
06:24 as He does with us?
06:26 It was all about our character development,
06:29 don't you think?
06:30 Oh, yes.
06:31 And if we're created in God's image,
06:33 we should think it'd be a natural thing
06:34 that we want to reflect God's loving concern
06:38 for this or like He does.
06:39 Yes.
06:41 I mean, that's what it partly means to be created
06:42 in His image.
06:43 Amen. Yeah.
06:45 You know, in thinking about this myself,
06:49 what the analogy that I would draw
06:51 is something like this.
06:53 You know, if you go to the Louvre in Paris,
06:57 there are lots of fabulous works of art there,
06:59 but the Venus de Milo is there.
07:01 Now when you think about it,
07:03 the Venus de Milo is an old broken statue, right?
07:08 But it is still so fabulously beautiful.
07:12 If I went into the Louvre with a hammer
07:14 and smash the Venus de Milo into pieces,
07:17 I mean, wouldn't any reasonable rational person,
07:20 anybody with a soul be horrified at that?
07:25 And yet, you know, it's surely...
07:28 If we go and just destroy
07:33 this wonderful work of art
07:37 that God created,
07:40 it says something profoundly evil about ourselves.
07:46 There's something wrong with us if we actually feel it,
07:51 that's okay.
07:53 And, you know, I think the ancients were
07:55 more in tune to creation than we are.
07:57 I love that passage in Job, the oldest book in the Bible.
07:59 Where Job says, the animals, if you watch, will teach you,
08:03 and they'll help you learn about God.
08:04 And I think that's really important.
08:07 If we turn away and don't care for this earth,
08:09 we're gonna lose a lot of lessons
08:10 that God is trying to show us how wonderful He is,
08:13 and what He's given us.
08:15 Nature itself praises God and it can teach us
08:18 how wonderful the Creator is.
08:21 So as a theologian
08:23 and obviously a lover of nature itself,
08:28 tell me this in from your perspective,
08:33 what do you see out there that you consider
08:35 to be the most beautiful thing that teaches us the most
08:40 about God and His nature?
08:44 I heard one person describe it this way,
08:47 which I've taken to be my own that said,
08:48 every animal can teach us a character quality
08:52 that God wants us to have.
08:54 And we can't look at each other anymore,
08:56 we can't see Jesus but every animal display
08:58 some character quality God wants us to have.
09:01 And at that time, we had a beloved dog
09:03 who's recently died but...
09:05 You know, dogs can show you what forgiveness is like,
09:07 they never hold a grudge, they never hold a grudge,
09:10 and they always want to be with you
09:12 and are always having a forgiving spirit no matter.
09:15 And I got to thinking about that what qualities
09:18 do animals display that God wants me to have?
09:22 You know, when you said that my initial thought was,
09:25 "Oh, no, that's ridiculous. Insects what can..."
09:28 And then I thought, "Go to the ant, thou sluggard."
09:32 Yeah, so it's there, it's amazing.
09:36 Yeah, so that's a really deep point.
09:39 And my favorite Old Testament description
09:41 of this is in 1 Kings 4 when it talks about Solomon
09:44 being the wisest man in the earth
09:46 and if people from all around the world
09:48 came to see and listen to Solomon's wisdom.
09:51 And then it says what he talked about.
09:52 It says he talked about trees, about flowers,
09:55 about the animals.
09:56 And people came from all around the world
09:58 to learn the Wisdom of Solomon.
10:00 What does he talk about?
10:01 Wonders of creation. There we go.
10:03 Well, thank you so much for joining us, Dr. Davidson.
10:06 I could talk about these things
10:09 probably for the rest of my life.
10:11 It is a wonderful topic. Yeah.
10:13 You know, a thought occurred to me
10:15 is after Jesus did the miracle with a fish and the loaves,
10:19 He told His disciples to gather together
10:25 the remnants of what was left, He never wasted anything.
10:30 And if we waste our resources that God has given us,
10:34 if we aren't taking good care of it,
10:37 I think we're not following in the footsteps of Jesus.
10:40 I have to agree with you.
10:42 You know, there's something ugly
10:43 about wanton wastefulness and something beautiful
10:49 actually about conserving what God has given to us
10:54 in such unbelievable abundance in this world.
11:00 I'm just amazed
11:02 at the gratuitous beauty these glorious relationships
11:08 and just the abundance of resources
11:11 that we have to support our lives
11:15 and the lives of other creatures.
11:18 And that's something that we need to keep in mind,
11:20 it's not just for us, it's for everything.
11:23 Remember the first angel's message says,
11:27 "Worship the Creator."
11:29 When we worship God in the beauty of His holiness,
11:32 we will be appreciating what He has done for us.
11:37 Thank you for joining us.


Revised 2019-03-14