Our Bible verse for today: “You are to have a digging tool in your equipment: when you relieve yourself, dig a hole with it and cover up your excrement.” Deuteronomy 23:13
Our thought for today: “Don’t foul the land”
I vividly remember a scene from a movie I saw almost forty years ago. The name of the movie was “Shogun”. It was about some British sailors in the 1600s who were shipwrecked off the coast of Japan. They were rescued and brought into a Japanese village to live. The Japanese were meticulously clean as part of their culture, but the sailors were filthy brutes who had disgusting personal habits. The houses they were given to live in soon became hovels filled with filth, and the Japanese were repulsed by it. One Japanese leader, looking at the disgusting mess, commented to another, “Even a bird doesn’t foul its own nest! What’s wrong with these men?”
In Deuteronomy 23:13 God instructed the people not to foul their own nests. He told them to poop outside of the camp and then bury it so nobody would see it or step in it. It was a matter of sanitation and good hygiene, but it was also about being clean and neat and taking proper care of the land the Lord had given them.
In our day, controlling all forms of pollution is a big deal. There are over six billion people on planet earth and together we produce a lot of waste. Not just human waste (although there is a lot of that!) but garbage waste, plastic waste, fuel emissions, spent nuclear by-products, and so on. We use an incredible amount of the earth’s resources and we produce a lot of waste in the process. Simply as a matter of being good stewards of our Father’s world we have to take steps to minimize and properly dispose of our waste.
And it’s not really that hard. Remember the story of my old Oldsmobile Delta 88 – that gas-guzzling gross-polluter I wrote about in an earlier devotional? Today my vehicles get much better gas mileage and they don’t belch smoke at all. Increased fuel efficiency and emission controls are a good thing! I know it costs money to develop that technology, and that then increases the price of our vehicles, but it’s a small price to pay for a cleaner environment.
Have you ever seen a picture of the air over Pittsburg, PA back in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s? There was so much smog in the air from oil refineries and coal burning plants that it looked like thick fog. On most days the air was almost never safe to breath. Now Google a picture of Pittsburg today. The air is clear and clean and safe. That’s the result of advances in emissions control technology (such as Clean Coal Technology) and also the efforts of everyday people to create less pollution as they live their own lives.
As the people of God we have a responsibility to limit the amount of pollution we create. Not only is this our Father’s world, but it is also our home. Don’t foul your own nest.