“the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.” vs. 13
The psalmist imagines all of creation living in a perpetual harmony, with each part recognizing the goodness of the other. In this vision of the peaceable kingdom the meadows provide food for the flocks and the valleys joyfully bring grain, while humans work as stewards and caretakers. When all the parts work together, life abounds, peace endures, and God is glorified. For long parts of the historical record this system worked quite well. There was amazing variety in nature, crops were produced in all the valleys of our world, and humans prospered. Some now believe that this intricate balance is threatened and that the environment is facing a huge challenge, not from the vagaries of weather, but from the rapacious desires of humankind. In order to live beyond our means we’ve discovered ever new and inventive ways to extract wealth from the land and sea, and we’ve not been careful to preserve or take care. While some extinction of species has been a part of the death-resurrection cycle from the beginning, the pace has begun to accelerate. Plants and animals of all kinds are threatened by our greed–and we’ve been slow to respond. We don’t yet know the consequences of the recklessness–but it may not be too late. If we repent of our desire for more, it could be that hills and valleys will again resound with the sound of music–and God will be glorified.
Thought for the Day: How can I be content with less?