This is what the Lord says:
“Sing with joy for Jacob;
shout for the foremost of the nations.
Make your praises heard, and say,
‘Lord, save your people,
the remnant of Israel.’
See, I will bring them from the land of the north(T)
and gather them from the ends of the earth.
Among them will be the blind and the lame,
expectant mothers and women in labor;
a great throng will return.
They will come with weeping;)
they will pray as I bring them back.
I will lead them beside streams of water(Z)
on a level path where they will not stumble,
because I am Israel’s father,
and Ephraim is my firstborn son.
- Jeremiah 31:7-9
Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. The name written on her forehead was a mystery:
Babylon the great
the mother of prostitutes
and of the abominations of the earth.
I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.
- Revelation 17:3-6a
In the Scriptures above, you find the only verses in the NIV that have both the word “mother” and “earth.” These verses are Jeremiah 31:8 and Revelation 17:5. The two words are unrelated in the Jeremiah reference, but they do not portray a nice person in the Revelation reference. There are no verses that have both “mother” and “nature.”
I have often thought that to believe in a Mother Earth was in some way wrong. Some people deify Mother Earth and worship the earth, definitely in that case, a false god. In researching several resources, most point to Greek mythology and the character of Demeter, sister of Zeus, who had a daughter, Persephone, with Zeus. Demeter is killed by Zeus and Persephone is allowed to return to Mount Olympus, but for four months, she must go to Hades, the four cold months encompassing winter when nothing grows. There are Native American legends referring to a grandmother. There are also some Asian connections to a female deity related to the earth.
The bottom line is that the Bible does not support a goddess who is the mother of earth. And to be fair, many use the terms Mother Earth and Mother Nature as a personification rather than a deification. Why mother? The earth bears forth fruit at harvest time and mothers bear forth children.
Back to the Greek mythology, Zeus and Demeter were never married, but they had a child. The Bible talks about siblings not having incest, Leviticus 18. When there were only two humans, Adam and Eve, their offspring had no choice other than to marry within the family, but, in modern times, this has been known to cause problems if the family tree does not have sufficient branches, yet, those observations have been made since the Levitical Law was put into place.
I only mention the relationship between Zeus and Demeter to totally refute any such relationship between God and Mother Earth. In popular culture, Mother Earth has been linked in a non-marital way, if you will, with Father Time, but never God.
Thus, some people may refer to Mother Earth in a personification standpoint, but it is a slippery slope. God the Father is ultimately in charge. We pray to God the Father when there is no rain and when there is too much rain. We call all storms acts of God, for insurance purposes, although some theology might have a problem with that.
I see the slippery slope most prominent in that the use of the “person” of Mother Nature or Mother Earth provides us with an either / or situation. And in much of our modern culture, we blame God when the crop is bad and praise Mother Earth when the crop is good.
For those that wish to focus their eyes upon Jesus and nothing else, there should be no thought of a Mother Earth or Mother Nature. These concepts muddy the waters, for all good things come from God, and no one else.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.
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