ODJ: Where the Trail Leads

June 27, 2018 

READ: Psalm 8:1-9 

You gave [human beings] charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority (v.6).

I heard the story of a man who spent ten years overseeing the largest hiking trail in America. The North Country Trail winds all the way from New York State in the east to North Dakota in the west. Why did this man help to preserve and grow the trail? As a believer in Jesus, his conviction is that all of creation is God’s and that He has called us to steward (care for) it well. So he and nearly 800 volunteers have been caring for all 4,600 miles of its scenic beauty.

In Psalm 8, David declared, “O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth. Your glory is higher than the heavens” (v.1). The psalmist revealed that God is both “Lord” (Hebrew Yahweh)—the covenant God of Israel, and also “Lord” (Hebrew adonay)—the true king of the whole earth. And this majestic King has called those who believe in Him, His children, to rule over the natural world for Him. He “crowned [us] with glory and honour” and has given us “charge of everything [He] made, putting all things under [our] authority” (v.6; see also Genesis 1:26-27).

During David’s day, the people groups around Israel viewed the sun, moon and stars as gods. But David confessed that those celestial creations are merely “the work of [God’s] fingers” (Psalm 8:3). We worship Him alone. As we care for “the flocks and the herds, and all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea and everything that swims the ocean currents” (vv.7-8), we’re representing Him and His love for all He’s made (John 3:16).

May we lovingly care for creation as a means of extending God’s kingdom life and restoration to this fallen world. And may what we do create a trail that leads others to know and love Him!

—Tom Felten

365-day plan: Mark 2:23-3:19

Read 1 Cor. 15:27 and consider what it means for all things to be under Jesus’ authority. How should we steward His creation? 
How have you been stewarding God’s creation? How do you experience His reality as you care for what He’s made?