Is God Green? Photo by By Glen from United Kingdom
John’s vision recorded in Revelation includes this picture of the end of time:
The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth. Rev 11:18
God is depicted as “destroying the destroyers of the earth.” Let’s take a moment to unpack the text before we focus on How green is God?
The context speaks of the end of history as we have known it. “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” (Rev. 11:15b). Part of the coming of the new heaven and new earth, when Christ’s rule flourishes, is the coming of the judgment.
In the first part of the verse, we discover a play on words. While the “nations raged” (orgizō – were “enraged” against God and His order), God’s wrath (orgē – “punishment”) came. God’s level of punishment is proportional to the level of the nation’s rage against God.
The wrath of God has come! The dead will be judged and God’s servants rewarded. And the wrath has come for destroying (utterly) the destroyers (corrupters) of the earth.
From the vantage point of those in rebellion, those who have violated God’s nature and His order without repentance, God’s judgment is a negative. These are libertines, people who want to follow their noses, their basic animalistic instincts. They prefer to live outside of the bounds of the order and ordinance of creation, outside the order that brings life. It is this rebellion that brings judgment and death to the earth at the end of history. This is the judgment of the Creator who made us and gave us life, who created a moral universe that brought human and ecological flourishing.
For God, green is about more than ecology
The judgment is against those who destroy creation. These are trying to live in worlds of illusion. God is “green,” He loves His creation. He is angry at those who rape and plunder the beautiful created order for their own wicked gain.
But note: this is more than green ecology! This is not merely a judgment against those who destroy “nature,” (that is, nature as opposed to creation). This is a judgment against those who:
- Destroy life.
- Destroy the moral ecology, making good evil and evil good.
- Destroy the ecology of beauty, elevating the crass and the hideous.
- Destroy the ecology of Veritas (a unified field of knowledge that comports with reality).
This is a judgment against those who hate!
For those living in rebellion, God’s judgment is adverse, something to avoid. This is the result of the folly of those who want to live license, who love darkness rather than light (John 3: 19) who love death rather than life (Proverbs 8:36). For these we must weep. Weep for the folly of their lives and for the judgment they will experience.
The truth is, God’s judgment is not a bad thing. It is a good thing, yea an excellent thing. God’s judgment destroys those who destroy the earth. It restores the order that brings life and human flourishing. It brings the fullness of the kingdom of God. It ends the rebellion against the universe and the One who created the universe.
The judgment brings a radical restoration of
- Moral Order
God’s creation is rescued from those who would destroy the earth! In fact this should be a truth of great celebration for those, who in faith and by His grace, are God’s servants.
This is the beautiful picture of the future – the not yet. But what about the now? Today we have the call of God to His servants to lead the counter culture, to steward the creation, to be pro-life, doers and be-ers of good, creators of beauty, tellers of truth and lovers of other human beings.
- Darrow Miller