Articles, Essays & Sermons

The earth is the Lord’s: A collection of texts

Biblical texts which reveal the non-human parts of creation responding to God’s presence, provision and purpose.

Selected by Ken Sehested

And God saw everything that was made, and behold, it was very good. (Gen. 1:31)

§ Jesus answered, “If these my disciples were silent, the very stones would cry out.” (Lk. 19:40)

§ And God said to Noah, “Never again will I destroy every living creature. Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your descendants, and with every living creature.” (Gen. 8:21; 9:9-10)

§ For creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God and will be set free from its bondage to decay. (Rom. 8:19, 21)

§ Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it. (Amos 9:13)

§ Woe to those who get evil gain for their house. For the stone will cry out from the wall, and the beam from the woodwork respond. (Hab. 2:9, 11)

§ Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed. (Is. 40:4-5)

§ The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want; he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still water; he restores my soul. (Ps. 23:1-3)

§ The mountains saw thee, and writhed; the raging waters swept on; the deep gave forth its voice, it lifted its hands on high. The sun and moon stood still in their habitation. (Hab. 3:10-11)

§ And I will make for you a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the creeping things of the ground; and I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land; and I will make you lie down in safety. (Hos. 2:18)

§ There is no faithfulness or kindness, and no knowledge of God in the land. Because of this the land mourns. (Hos. 4: 1, 3)

§ Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord. (Ps. 96:11-12)

§ But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. In God’s hand is the life of every living thing. (Job 12:7-8, 10)

§ The heavens are telling the glory of God. (Ps. 19:1)

§ Behold, the envoys of peace weep bitterly. The land mourns. “Now will I arise,” says the Lord. (Is. 33:7, 9, 10)

§ Ever since the creation of the world God’s eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen in the things that have been made. (Rom. 1:20)

§ The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. (Is. 11:6)

§ The earth is satisfied with the fruit of God’s work. (Ps. 104:13)

§ Praise the Almighty, sun and moon, praise God, all you shining stars! Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling God’s command! Mountains and hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Beasts and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds! Let them praise the name of the Lord. (Ps. 148:3, 7-10, 13)

§ If you defile the land, it will vomit you out. (Lev. 18:28)

§ Then the Lord answered Job: “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Who determined its measurements? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the children of God shouted for joy? Have you commanded the morning and caused the dawn to know its place, that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it? Has the rain a parent, or who has begotten the drops of dew? From whose womb did the ice come forth? Who has put wisdom in the clouds, or given understanding to the mists? (Job 38:4, 5, 6-7, 12-13, 28-29, 36)

§ The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom. (Is. 35:1)

§ Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Abba’s will. (Matt. 10:29)

§ You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees will clap their hands. (Is. 55:12)

§ But in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath for the land, and for your cattle also. (Lev. 25:4, 7)

§ For you who fear my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go forth leaping like calves from the stall. (Mal. 4:2)

§ And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing. (Ez. 47:12; cf. Rev. 22:1-2)

§ Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it; shout, O depths of the earth; break forth in song, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the Lord will be glorified in Israel. (Is. 44:23)

§ The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof. (Ps. 24:1)

In Scripture, God is referred to as a rock (Ps. 19:14); a mother eagle (Ex. 19.4; Deut. 32:11-12); a mother bear (Hos. 13:8); or simply a “dwelling place” (Ps. 90:1). In Jesus’ teaching, all manner of things in the created order were used to illustrate the purposes of God: the sun and the rain (Matt. 5:45); the scorching heat and the south wind (Lk. 12:55); clouds and rain (Lk. 12:56); the flash of lightening (Matt. 24:27); the rock and the sand (Matt. 7:26); the seeds and the grains (Mk. 4:2-8); the ox (Lk. 13:15); dogs (Lk. 16:21); fish, the serpent, even the scorpion (Lk. 11:11); sheep and goats (Matt. 25:32). And his desire, like a mother hen, is to gather all under the protective wings (Matt. 23:37-39, Luke 13:34-35). Taken together, the New Testament contains more than 70 references (in the form of allegories, proverbs, riddles, similes, etc.) where the non-human parts of creation serve as channels of divine instruction, intention and resolve.

Originally created for BPFNA-Bautistas por la Paz

Ken Sehested @ prayer&politics.org