But I want to bring us back to these things for a moment, because it bears repeating: it is a fact that we are on a dying world. This world has been on a death trajectory since Genesis 3:6-7, when sin came into the world via satan and Adam.
The sins that are piling up are heavy. (Ezra 9:6, Jeremiah 51:9, Revelation 18:5). You know how a towel is when it gets wet. The more it is saturated, the heavier it becomes. I imagine that metaphorically, the earth is the same, like a sponge or a towel heavy-laden with sin.
That the earth is corrupt there is no doubt. The real pollution and the sin-pollution is bound to have an effect. These are the effects we see now. This is an article from Reuters,
"A federal agency has declared that more sick and dying sea lion pups have stranded themselves on southern California beaches so far in 2013 than in the previous five years combined, but scientists are still unsure what is afflicting the mammals. The "unusual mortality event" notice from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released late on Wednesday follows animal rescue groups' warnings of a large influx of ailing sea lion pups in California."This from NPR,
"Algae Bloom Kills Record Number Of Florida Manatees"The Wildlife Biologist went on to say that it seems to be "bad luck". I can't imagine how hard it is for biologists to retrieve cute little dead sea lion pups or baby manatees ... sad!
More than 200 manatees have died in Florida's waterways since January from an algae bloom called red tide, just as wildlife officials try to remove the marine mammal from the endangered species list. It used to be boat propellers that were the biggest killer of manatees, but red tide has been especially bad this year."I think that it's terrible. Red tide is something that is not good for the ecosystem overall and obviously not for these animals that are dying from it," Martell says. It's impossible to contain or control red tide. The blooms occur naturally almost every year along Florida's Gulf Coast. The algae produce toxins that are absorbed by the sea grass, which manatees eat. No one knows why the outbreak is so severe this year."
In addition to these unfortunate events there are a couple of others taking place in Arkansas. An Exxon pipeline leaked into a subdivision.
Washington Post has the story--
Exxon Mobil pipeline leaks ‘a few thousand’ barrels of crude oil in Arkansas"
Exxon Mobil said that one of its pipelines leaked “a few thousand” barrels of Canadian heavy crude oil near Mayflower, Ark., prompting the evacuation of 22 homes and reinforcing concerns many critics have raised about the Keystone XL pipeline that is awaiting State Department approval. The pipeline breach took place late Friday, Exxon said, in the 20-inch diameter, 95,000-barrel-a-day Pegasus pipeline, which originates in Patoka, Ill., and carries crude oil to the Texas Gulf Coast, the country’s main refining center. Mayflower is about 25 miles north of Little Rock."
This photo is circulating on Facebook, and though I think it is genuine, please be discerning, considering the source. The caption says it is a backyard at one of the affected subdivisions in Mayflower Arkansas, and to please share the photo.
Also in Arkansas, a nuclear accident happened, killing one. CNN reports,
Accident at Arkansas nuclear site kills manAnother report from NBC says that three were injured. That reports states that part of a generator fell when it was being moved and killed one man and injured three others. The report says that it was not nuclear related.
"An accident at a nuclear facility in Arkansas killed one person Sunday, a county coroner said. The accident took place "in a non-radiation area, and there has been no risk to public health and safety identified," the Arkansas Department of Health said in a statement. ... Officials have not said how he was killed."
That is the official word, anyway. I think everyone is on edge after the major earthquake and tsunami at Japan that ruined the Fukushima Nuclear plant in 2011.
I say all this to remind us of the holy and glorious fact: this is not our world. We are ambassadors stationed here to bear fruit for God's glory. We are to witness and speak of the One True God. But our sojourn here is not permanent. Read Hebrews 11:13-16, where we are reminded of who God used to bring Himself glory in the past (Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses...)
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.We're strangers and exiles. Faint not, when we read of these sinful and polluting things. We mourn the blight upon the beautiful earth that God has made and installed us upon, yes. We are sad for our brethren who must endure hardship and dislocation. We pray for the lost who experience these things but have no Rock upon which to stand nor rely to get them through. But fear not and faint not. This world will pass away, but Jesus will never pass away. Our home is in joyful communion now and forever with the Precious Risen One!
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:1-4)