It's not the planet. It's not the environment.
The cult of environmentalism has duped a generation into believing 'mother earth' is our prime responsibility, that 'she' has become, in cultural consciousness, the true 'god' to whom we are obliged to ... ie, saving the whales and recycling our trash and not fracking for oil etc etc are the biggest commandments and sins which we must atone for and for which nature is in upheaval.
But it's not mother earth, nor has it ever been. It is not mother earth to whom every person will give an account for their life when they breathe their last. It is Father God, from whom 'wrath is being poured out on all godlessness and wickedness of people who supress the truth... In other words, deny His reality and existence, His relevance to our life, and defiantly deny any claim the Creator has over our individual free will and behavior. It was this God who told the Israelites of old that 'the land will spit you out'. It spit them out because they sinned against the Creator and did expressly those practices which He told them not to do (more on that).
Biblically speaking, the sins which the creator has punished - at times to the point of anhilation, since the creation of the planet are pretty much the same:
Idolatry (in many different versions), Greed, Sexual Immorality, Perversion, unbridled pursuits of self-indulgence, materialism, and 'fleshly' pleasures, all done from a wilful denial of the one true Creator. And these are pursued to the neglect of (true) social justice - helping those in need, looking out for others around us and not just ourselves. The fall of great civilzations almost always coincides with cultural and moral decay, which always goes hand in hand with increase in violence and ruthless behavior.
There were many times in Israels history where they were so completely absorbed in other cultures and 'values' that they had completely forgotten about God's unchanging laws. I'll discuss in a moment the 'downward spiral' which cultures and people and individuals go through in their movement away from God and toward depraved bevaiors, which inevitably invites God's judgement. The last phase of this spiral is that 'they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God" (Romans 1:). In other words, they didn't place a high value on learning about the true God and in giving him honor, and in living according to his laws, but instead became absorbed in entertainments and career pursuits and the american dreams, and increasingly pushing the envelope on immorality. In order to justify themselves, they adapted new 'gods' - much like we've adoped the gods of me-ism, relativism, humanism, hedonism... and so the true God had no place in their lives.
I believe this is America. And it's too late for America to recover what it once had. But it's not too late for individuals to become illuminated and to discover the unchanging laws of God, and to have the revelation, just as KingJosiah did, that over time, we have so completely removed ourselves from God's blessings by 'doing our own thing' and thinking God was okay with it, that we must have a complete change of heart and a real repentance in order to avoid the inevitable judgements of God which over and over in the Bible we are warned about.
"Behold the kindness and sternness of God"
God is the one who judges and yet at the same time, He is the one who offers patience, grace, and encourages us to correct our course, to change our ways. He is the one who sent Jesus, the embodiment or incarnation of all that God is - and who showed us grace and forgivenes... but also, (contrary to many popular depictions of the son of God), showed us sternness, gave us sober warnings, was intolerant of hypocrisy, and was unafraid to identify the culture as 'wicked and perverse'. Think how these words would 'fly' in todays 'anything goes' culture. The real Jesus would not be accepted (as he wasn't back in Roman times) by many who say they belive in Jesus. But they believe in a false Jesus - they have rejected God and re-made Him into their own image. One which tolerates all manner of things which the true God never tolerates. Many today know the "God so loved the world" and "judge not lest you be judged" verses which Jesus spoke, yet the real Jesus also said that we must forsake all and follow him, that we cannot love the world (or money) and love God at the same time, that many will receive the word at first but then fall away when persecution comes on account of following Jesus, that we must keep striving to enter through the narrow gate.
His blessings are promised for those who wilfully do this self-correcting and come into line, aided by the power of God himself by the Holy Spirit, and through the mediator of Jesus Christ. His grace is enough for us to walk day to day towards his truth, allowing him to purge us and clean us, and to renew our thinking. If we are willing.
However, if we reject God's grace (through our unbelief and our intentional ignoring his offer of grace and forgiveness) and instead continue to persist in passive or active rebellion against God, his 'plan b' (judgement) kicks in. Ultimately, the judgements are also sent to get our attention and to get us to change our ways. The Book of Revelation (also known as the apocolypse) is the scary book in the Bible. It is a picture of the judgements that are coming on the world because the world (by and large) refuses God's 'plan a' - which was the offer of grace through Jesus Christ. And so God sends increasing levels of chaos, upheaval, and destruction - all of these we are seeing manifest around us every day. The unfortunate truth is that most people will not accept God's plan A or his plan B. As it says in Revelation 9:
"The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood?dols that cannot see or hear or walk. 21Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts..."
Repentance starts with acknowledging God. Not an imaginary God either, the real one. The idea, around since the 60's, that we can create our own reality, and by implication, create our own God, refuses to accept objective truth, the unchanging God, and his fixed laws. Why? Because the corrupt part of human nature seeks to defy God and do what it wants to do. If the real God doesn't like the way I do things, I'll just invent a god who does. Whether it's 'imagining' a new God (one who doesn't reflect the character of the Biblical one, nor demand adherance to his fixed laws), or creating a golden calf to bow down to, it's the same idea. People always find some way to approve of the sinful things they want to do and to excuse their bad behaviors - things which God says we will be judged for. John Lennon tried to imagine there was no heaven - no hell below us. No God (with his implied fixed standards and judgements) above us - only sky. But it is self-delusion. Unfortunately we live in a world that is in large part self-deluded.
To be continued...