Our Bible verse for today: “He made him ride on the heights of the land and eat the produce of the field. He nourished him with honey from the rock and oil from flinty rock …” Deuteronomy 32:13 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Oil is given to us by God to be used in responsible ways.”
Oil was created by God. The creation of vast oceans of petroleum under the surface of the earth, as described in yesterday’s devotional, was by the will and the hand of God. But oil serves no useful purpose sitting underground in vast oceans. It is of no use at all until it is extracted from the ground, refined, and used by people. Then it serves multiple useful purposes, only one of which is as a fuel. It is also used to make plastics, rubber, asphalt, a wide variety of chemicals used in daily life, and it is also found in most synthetic products.
Petroleum is needed for more than just fuel. And since it is a non-renewable resource, and since it is needed for reasons other than just as a source of energy, as good stewards of the resources God has given us, we need to conserve it and to use it in responsible ways.
Although it is possible that more oil could yet be discovered, as was noted yesterday, current remaining oil reserves are about 1.5 trillion barrels and the world uses approximately 34 billion barrels of that each year. That being the case, at current rates of use, we will consume all 1.5 trillion barrels in about 50 years. That would be a little inconvenient when it comes to oil as a source of energy and fuel because we would then have to rely on alternative sources. But the bigger concern with running out of petroleum oil is the multiple other important ways in which it is used and needed. Alternate sources will need to be found for those purposes as well.
What does this mean for Christians who are mindful of taking care of God’s creation and being good stewards of His resources? Should we stop using oil as an energy source? I don’t think so. Oil is a gift from God and it serves no useful purpose unless it is used. We simply need to continue to be good stewards of it. Don’t waste it. Let’s make it last as long as we can. Increased fuel efficiency is one way to help do that. Keeping the thermostat in your home set on reasonable temperatures conserves energy as well, and there are many other ways in which we can continue to use oil as a source of fuel and energy, but do so in an efficient and responsible way.
Oil is a gift from God. It is a useful resource that He has provided to help make our lives better. We are free to use it as long as it lasts, but we do have to use it responsibly.