What is important about the earth? What is important in the universe? Is there something about the current ecosystem of the earth, and for that matter the universe, that should be more important than anything else? That particular question is very important because there are arguments that are being proffered today that the system itself is most important. This leads to conclusions that make many in the "Green Movement" state that we need to seriously deal with the problem of overpopulation in our world. They hold that humans have become too populous and that the resulting problems caused by . . . us, should be dealt with by depopulation efforts such as the one child only policies of China - as well as forced abortion. Some even speak of ways that the human population can be culled to lower levels. Granted these are the more extreme in the movement, but still such ideas gain traction because false premises continue to be promoted among thinkers - and eventually accepted in society. So we come back to the question of whether anything is more important than the ecosystem itself?
God speaks to this in the way that Wisdom informs us about the creation and what God valued in it. If God created wisdom itself, then we should see the priorities of God reflected in what Wisdom values and what Wisdom delights in the world that currently exists. What we find in Proverbs chapter 8 is a fascinating statement made by Wisdom about what wisdom considered most valuable - and most delightful.
Wisdom rejoiced in "His earth." This is the first revelation to us. The earth is the Lords - and the fullness thereof. God owns earth - it is His. He created it, and as its Creator - He owns it and can define for us how we should view it. What is interesting is that Wisdom speaks of the world and the earth. The words used here speak of the "inhabitable portions of the earth. These are the places on earth where man dwells. The Hebrew word for world is "betabel" which comes from the root word "yabal." This word is used for the inhabited places of the earth. Specifically it is used to speak of places like Jerusalem and Babylon - thus pointing to the fact that it speaks of the areas of the earth where men dwell. This fits perfectly with the next statement made by Wisdom - the fact that Wisdom delighted in the sons of men. Now let us consider what this means.
God's wisdom rejoices in the inhabited parts of the world - where men dwell. Wisdom delights in the sons of men - and the Hebrew word used to describe this is about as intense a word as can be used to describe this delight. It is an super astounding intense delight that God's manifest wisdom has in men. This, along with the way God makes it clear in the creation accounts that man is the crowning creation of all God made, finds itself in complete contradiction to the view that the ecosystem is what is ultimate.
God made this world for His glory. But His glory is seen clearest in man - whom God made in His own image. The work that God is doing in the earth is for the sake of bringing man to repentance and redemption through the salvation He provided through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. Therefore - the ecosystem is not what is most important. Man is what is most important. What will blow your mind is that God told man to be "fruitful and multiply,and fill the earth." This runs counter to the whole environmental movement. Now please understand that God does not give man the freedom to destroy the environment with foolish and overtly destructive behavior. God calls us to act with wisdom in what we do - but He also gave us the freedom to exploit the earth's resources for the benefit of mankind. It truly is a radically diffrerent worldview than usually promoted by the world and its dominant philosophies.
There is one thing that also should be touted here that often is lost in the battles among competing philosophies about the world. The Bible teaches us that this is a fallen world in which we live. It is fallen because mankind has rebelled against God and His ways. The number one resource that should concern us most IS man. Lost humanity needs to hear the message of the gospel - needs to repent - and needs to be redeemed. The gospel instructs us to glorify God chiefly - proclaim His message of salvation - and seek to bring men and women to Christ. When we learn to live with this as our center - with this as our ultimate goal - we will join with true wisdom and also find our delight in God's world - in delight also in the redemption of the sons of men.