August 12

Psalm 67:4-7

“The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, has blessed us. May God continue to bless us; let all the ends of the earth revere him.” vss. 6-7

Demographers estimate that there are now 7.8 billion people in the world, a marked increase from the 1 billion who populated our planet just 200 years ago. One reason for the rapid growth has been agricultural development. At one time it was believed that the world would run out of food. That hasn’t happened, and with the exception of places plagued by drought, wars, and the changing climate, there is no lack of food in the world. The earth has yielded its increase, and as the psalmist wrote, “God, our God, has blessed us.” Some among us would disagree and say that our bounty is strictly the result of human hard work and ingenuity. In their words, “You think this land is fruitful? You should have seen it before we invented fertilizers and genetically modified seeds!” That’s always been our biggest temptation–we love to move God out of the picture and take all the credit for prosperity. People of faith heartily disagree. While it is true that there has been massive innovation and inventiveness in nearly every arena of human endeavor, we’ve never been able to make anything out of nothing. All we’ve done is develop resources that have been present from the beginning–and if we’re smart we won’t let a week go by without saying, “Thanks be to God!”

Thought for the Day: What are the limits of human population growth?

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