One could argue that an awareness of creation care starts the moment we learn the first man (Adam) is made from the ground (adama) in Genesis 2:7, “then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” Moses wants his readers to make the vital connection between man and the world he inhabits. Fair enough. Yet i’m persuaded that Genesis 2:15 is the magna carta of environmental stewardship. It tells us that after creation of Adam, “-” The two commands to “cultivate” and “keep” the garden speak volumes to maintaining a balance in out relationship to the earth. If we use and abuse (dare I say “rape and pillage”?) the earth as a never-ending supply of raw materials to mine for our own benefit we violate the Master’s command to keep, preserve, and nurture the earth. We have a symbiotic relationship with the earth, if it prospers we prosper. On the other hand, God didn’t ask us to leave the earth as we found it, to preserve it in its pristine original form. Instead God comissions humanity to be His vice-regents entailed a real responsibility on our part; take creation, work it, prune it, and give it back to God in better shape than it was given to us.
The God who took six days -rather than a millisecond- to create the cosmos is the same God who commissioned humanity to cultivate and expand the boundaries of the garden. Contrary to popular belief, God is interested in change and development.
After all, whereas the story of the Bible begins in a garden, it ends in a city.