Is climate change the result of human activity?
It is believed by many that climate change is caused by human activities such as the use of fossil fuels. Others disagree with this assessment and believe that humans can’t affect climate. I have read arguments on both sides of he issue and I have noticed that both sides have one thing in common. Neither side looks to the Bible for answers to the question. That is unfortunate because the Bible has a lot to say on the subject.
Leviticus 26:3-13 describes the blessings the people of Israel will experience if they obey God’s laws. One of those blessings is related to climate.
If you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them, then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.Your threshing shall last to the time of the grape harvest, and the grape harvest shall last to the time for sowing. And you shall eat your bread to the full and dwell in your land securely. (Leviticus 26:3-5)
Leviticus 26:14-39 tells what punishments will follow disobedience. Again there is a reference to climate.
And if in spite of this you will not listen to me, then I will discipline you again sevenfold for your sins, and I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze.And your strength shall be spent in vain, for your land shall not yield its increase, and the trees of the land shall not yield their fruit. (Leviticus 26:18-20)
1 Kings 16:30 – 18:46 shows how God used the weather to punish disobedience. King Ahab married Jezebel, the daughter of the king of Sidon, and began worshiping Baal, the god of the Sidonians. God sent a drought that ended only after Elijah’s famous contest with the prophets of Baal to determine who was the true God.
And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.”
Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God.” (1 Kings 18:36-39)
It is clear that the climate of Israel was dependent of the obedience or disobedience of the people, but what about the rest of the world? The greatest climate change in all of history was the worldwide flood in Noah’s time. Here is what the Bible says about its cause.
The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. (Genesis 6:5-8)
The principle that humans control the climate by their obedience or disobedience to God is clearly a universal one and isn’t limited to the Israelites. Jesus said that a time will come when the human race will be as evil as it was in the time of Noah and God will once again judge the world.
Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man.They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. (Luke 17:26,27)
God has promised that he will never send another flood to destroy the world so the coming judgment will be different. God protected Noah and his family by sending them into the ark before the flood came; he will protect believers by taking us to Heaven by the rapture.
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17)
Revelation 6-19 describes the future judgment. One of the judgments is global warming so severe that it will make our present climate seem like an Ice Age by comparison.
The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire.They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory. (Revelation 16:8,9)
God is in complete control of the climate. Sometimes he determines the climate by our obedience or disobedience to his commands so we can influence it by the way we live. This is the only way we can influence the climate, but it is a real way so we should keep it in mind when we decide whether we will live a life that pleases God or one of rebellion against him.