Editor's note: This is the first of a two-part series on the history of climate change on Earth from a biblical perspective by Joseph Farah, the author of a new book called The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians and the End of the Age."
I used to be a "denier," as those who sacrifice their reasoning ability at the altar of Big Government power label skeptics of man-made, catastrophic climate change.
If you asked me, do you believe in it? I would have said no.
But the deeper I get into the study the Scriptures, I have to admit, my opinion has changed. I do believe man's behavior on the Earth can have catastrophic consequences – and, indeed, has in the past.
However, before the climate-change lobby begins celebrating a convert to the cause, let me say unequivocally that my acceptance of past, current and future changes in the climate – including those with potentially catastrophic results – has nothing whatsoever to do with an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to the activity of mankind.
Instead, I have concluded that previous climate catastrophes have been the result of another activity of man – the commission of sin.
While Al Gore and the carbon-phobes have no evidence to support their dire predictions of imminent doom other than computer modeling, those who take my position actually have more than 6,000 years of biblical and historical patterns along with the inerrant Word of God.
So maybe it's time for a new bumper sticker – "SIN, NOT CARBON, CAUSES CLIMATE CHANGE."
I know, it's probably not going to catch on. … It's a little long. It's not intuitive. It needs too much explanation. So, let me make the case.
When did the climate first change dramatically?
We know the Garden of Eden was the perfect climate for mankind because Adam and Eve didn't even need clothes. There's really nowhere on the planet today where you would be comfortable 365 days a year without any duds whatsoever – and that's putting aside the shame factor. Even in Hawaii you have fluctuating temperatures that would make nudists uncomfortable from time to time.
When Adam and Eve committed the first sin by eating of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good an Evil, everything changed – including the climate.
That's when death first entered the world. Before that, nothing died – not people, not animals, nothing. Immediately, however, that changed. God provided the first animal sacrifice to "cover" the shame Adam and Eve experienced and the sin that separated them from their Creator. The days of Adam and Eve and their descendants were now numbered, and they were banished from the garden. Some animal kinds became predatory. Even the ground was cursed. Thorns and thistles sprung up. People would have to work the land to grow their food. Childbirth would be painful. Life itself became more of a struggle.
Within 2,000 years, the entire human race was characterized by sinful behavior, we're told in Genesis.
In Genesis 6:5-7, the Bible tells us: "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them."
Yet, one man found grace in the Lord's eyes. His name was Noah.
So God warned Noah He would send a flood to destroy the Earth, instructing Him to build an ark to His specifications – a large ship on which Noah would preserve the animal kingdom and his own family.
The coming climate change would be as radical as the one experienced by Adam and Eve. Apparently, it had never rained on Earth before this time, so it was a true test of Noah's faith that the whole world would be consumed in a massive global flood. But that wasn't the only cause of the flood. Not only were the windows of heaven opened for 40 days, but so were the fountains of the great deep.
When the waters receded, there were likely some profound climate changes. People didn't live as long as the generations before Noah. Perhaps the oxygen content of the atmosphere was reduced.
And that was not the only environmental disaster that would befall man as he fell into sin.
In the time of Abraham, the city-states of Sodom and Gomorrah had tried God's patience with their grievous sin. He sent two angels to save Abraham's cousin and his family, sending them out of the plain and into the mountain before destroying the place and all life therein with a hail of fire and brimstone from heaven.
But God made a covenant with Abraham and his wife, Sarah, to create a great nation, through which would come a Messiah who would restore the world to its original purpose and perfection. It would be God's Kingdom on Earth, ruled and reigned over by this resurrected deliverer who would be known as Jesus or Yeshua, which means "salvation."
This future period, the Apostle Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, told crowds in Jerusalem, would herald "the restitution of all things," to which all the prophets from Creation onward had pointed with hope and promise.
But, on the road to that promise, God did not forsake intervening in the climate when sin ran amok.
Tomorrow: Farah addresses the mystery of yet another more recent climate-change disaster and evidence that it is being miraculously reversed, suggesting the world is approaching the time of "the restitution of all things."
Read Part 2, "Have you heard of the Negev forest?"
Get Joseph Farah's "The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians and the End of the Age," for a thorough understanding of the Coming Kingdom of God on Earth and how believers can prepare themselves spiritually for it.
See the book trailer for "The Restitution of All Things":
Media wishing to interview Joseph Farah, please contact [email protected].