What does the Bible say about Nature?
The ancient Israelites view nature differently that might give modern readers a hard time understanding it. One way to help us understand these verses from the Bible is to ask ancient near Eastern type of questions (examples given below) and refrain from asking questions in a modern worldview. Ready? Let’s dive in.
Bible verses about Nature
1. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."- Genesis 1:1, NIV
The Hebrew Bible begins with God creating the world and everything we see in nature. Genesis 1:1-31 through Genesis 2:1-3 unfolds the rhythmic narrative of creation, and verse 1 summarizes the manner of creation.
2. "Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy." - Psalm 96:11-12, NIV
The psalter knew that God’s rule and authority were so evident that even nature worshiped Him.
3. "You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands." - Isaiah 55:12, NIV
This passage was to give hope for the people of Israel who were in exile during this period. It was to show that God and his power and majesty will be revealed in new ways that even the nature will praise and worship Him.
4. “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." - Matthew 6:28-29, NIV
Giving "Flowers of the field" as an example, you see that they are rooted in place and grow without doing any work. Even without doing anything, Jesus was saying that they are beautiful and even the beautiful clothes of Solomon wasn't comparable to that.
5. "And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, “There will be no more delay! " - Revelation 10:6, NIV
Bible Verses about Creation
6. In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. Psalm 102:25, NIV
Our God is eternal who’s been there even before time existed and will remain forever. And the psalter meditates on this powerful truth. God’s the one who initiated order and life, and He laid the very foundation of the earth and everything on it.
7. It is I who made the earth and created mankind on it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts. Isaiah 45:12, NIV
This is a reimagination of the creation story. And you’ll find this many times in the Old Testament, how the Hebrew authors reflect and meditate the truth about God as the Creator. Here in the perspective of God. How he made everything we see now with His hand, and how He holds the universe in the palm of His hands.
8.Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Genesis 1:2, NIV
Waters is a metaphor for danger, uncertainty, and chaos (See Psalm 69 or Psalm 89). The Spirit here is the Hebrew word “Ruakh,” and the literal translation is wind or breath. The Spirit of God hovers over darkness, chaos, and void, preparing it for order, life and majesty.
9. And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day. Genesis 1:6-8, NIV
Here’s another way that the ancient near Eastern people view their world. They perceived the sky as a body of water. The logic behind this is the rain. That’s why you’ll read in Malachi 3:10, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
10. And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:9-10, NIV
After God separates water (sky) from water (sea), God brings forth the land. Two great regions are being gathered by God. The dry land that forms the earth, and waters that form the seas and oceans. The dry ground is preparation for vegetation, trees, animals, and later on, humans.
11. Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:11-12, NIV
This was still on the third day of creation. On this day, there was a double creation. The land and seas; and the wonderful trees and vegetations, fruits and plants according to their kinds. The creations on days 1-3 are spaces or dominions (i.e., light and darkness, land and seas), and on days 4-6 will be the inhabitants of those spaces (i.e., sun, moon and stars, wild animals and livestock, and lastly the humans).
12. And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 11:24-25, NIV
On the sixth day, God had another double creation (Can you see the parallel of the creation's story?). God made animals and humans. What's interesting here is that God made wild animals and also livestock according to their kind. The story of creation in Genesis 1 is about how God established order and dominion over the formless and dark earth. That's why you'll often read "God separates the…" and then God populating those spaces.
13.You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you. Nehemiah 9:6, NIV
Nehemiah 6 is the chapter where the people of Israel sang to God praise and repented of their sins. As the Levites lead the congregation to worship God, they begin by quoting Genesis 1:1 and Psalm 36:6. The story of creation for them is not a scientific discovery but a reality and hope.
It was embedded in their hearts that as they look at their present circumstances (i.e., exiled, broken walls, and divided nation), they recall how God speaks life, beauty, and order out of darkness and a chaotic world—creating a flourishing and beautiful world.
Bible verses about God revealing himself through nature
14. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—and I will meditate on your wonderful works. Psalm 145:5, NIV
One of the last psalms of David praises God’s glorious splendor. He wrote that even nature speaks that glory and majesty. Nature can lead us to meditate on God’s works and also worship God. As Psalms 19:3-4 said, “They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.”
15.The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40:8, NIV
Isaiah 40 is God's comfort for the exiles. This chapter and the following address the exiled Israelites in Babylon. And the comfort was that God's glory would be revealed. Verse 8 tells us that as beautiful as the grass and flower may be, they will fall and wither someday. But God will remain and will endure forever. Only God can be absolutely trusted, and His words will never prove false. In contrast to the grass that withers and flowers that fall.
16. He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate—bringing forth food from the earth. Psalm 104:14, NIV
This song of praise admires how nature and the created order reveal God's glory by providing so abundantly for all living things. God is a provider, and He is unlimited. As the grass grows each season and trees bear fruit, God provides each season, making one's soul satisfied and filled. The way God nurtures nature reveals how He cares for all kinds of animals, even for those that he has expressly forbidden the Israelites to eat.
17. Wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts. Psalm 104:15, NIV
The food and drinks that nature provides give a foretaste of how good God is. The wine that gladdens a human heart, God can renew our hearts that we may obey Him. The oil that makes one’s face shine, God’s closeness to Moses made his face shine.
And a bread that sustains the heart, the Bible says, “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” (Deuteronomy 8:3, NIV)
18. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. 5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? 6 On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—7 while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? Job 38:4-7, NIV
Job was a righteous man, but the enemy wanted to test him and lead him to rebel against God, but God allowed it to happen so that He may reveal to Job and to us His great wisdom.
As Job eventually questions God’s wisdom, chapter 38 is God answering Job’s questions. Verses 1-4 says, “1 Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: 2 “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? 3 Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.”
God continues by revealing His vast creation by asking Job about the birth of the earth. Nature reveals that God is beyond the capacity of our brains to understand. God is multifaceted, magnificent, and enormous!
19. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. 4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. - Psalm 19:1-4, NIV
In singing this hymn or psalm, the Israelites celebrate God’s law, the Torah, as His supreme revelation of himself. The Psalter uses nature as an illustration. The hymn recounts the way the creation speaks of its Creator.
20. The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, 2 it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. - Isaiah 35:1-10, NIV
Deserts and wilderness can also be reveal as an attribute of God. In Exodus 13:17-18, God revealed to Moses that He will lead the Israelites into the wilderness, “17 If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.”
God already knew that His people had stubborn hearts, that the moment they saw war or hardship they would return to Egypt. The wilderness was the only way for his people to learn, and experience God’s faithfulness and grace during this time.
Bible Verses about protecting the environment
21. The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. - Genesis 8:21, NIV
In the story of Noah, God sends a flood to cleanse the world of evil. Evil which was created and acted upon by us, humans. But God promised Noah that He would never again destroy the world because of humans. Thus, as God protects the world, humans also should protect the environment.
22. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. - Genesis 1:25, NIV
God made all living things, and God saw that they're all good. Because God sees them as ultimately good, we also have to protect the things that are good for God.
23. Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” - Genesis 1:26, NIV
God created humans out of dirt and shared His authority with them as omniscient and omnipotent as He is. God is the all-powerful and all-knowing King of the universe. He reigns forever, but the first book of the Bible begins with God sharing that rule and authority and asking humans to represent that rule and authority over creation. In short, the first covenant of God with humans was for humans to manage and rule the world on God's behalf.
24. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:28, NIV
God exercises His power and authority by sharing His life, goodness, and order in the world through humans. And this includes being the protector of nature and all creation. The humans, as God’s creation, are to be nurturers and managers of nature.
25. ‘Do not pollute the land where you are. Bloodshed pollutes the land, and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it. 34 Do not defile the land where you live and where I dwell, for I, the Lord, dwell among the Israelites.’” Numbers 35:33-34, NIV
Numbers 35 talks about the cities of refuge for sinners. These cities will be a refuge for sinners who are about to be executed. Because sin pollutes the land, there will be atonement of sins. And while sin is rebellion against God, it is also the sin that damages the world God beautifully created. We have to take care of the land, not destroy it, because God also dwells among us.
26. All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing the praises of your name.” - Psalm 66:4
This verse tells us that nature needs to be protected because they too worship God. All of the earth, the trees, plants, fruits, and vegetables, all living creatures, bows down to the King of the universe.