We tend to protect our valuable stuff. When my wife leaves her purse in the car, she locks the car. Most people keep their money in a bank. Those with influence or fame are often guarded closely while in public. If it has value or potential risk, it is locked up or otherwise guarded. We understand this concept.
The New Testament talks about guarded stuff quite a bit. What follows is an abridged list of ways τηρεω (tereo) is translated, in a very informal word study format. Specific definitions come from BDAG (a fantastic lexicon).
- Prisoner/Person in Custody – It is used of Jesus (Matt. 27.36ff), Paul and Silas (Acts 16.23), Angels Who Sinned (II Peter 2.4), and Peter (Acts 12.5).
- To Preserve or Hold Someone or Something – It is used of the “good wine that was kept until after the bad wine was consumed” (John 2). It is used to describe our inheritance, which is being held and is waiting for those who die in Christ (I Peter 2.4). It is used to describe the universe and the earth, which is being preserved because its destruction will be caused by God at the end of time (II Peter 3.7; Cf. Romans 8.22-24). For the Christian, this seems to resolve the climate change issue since God is keeping the earth intact until the last day.
- To Not Give Up Something – Paul uses it urging Christians to persist in being united (Eph. 4.3). He also used it to tell Timothy that he had held onto his faith, even up to his imminent death (II Timothy 4.7). John uses it to describe our spiritual protection from being lost if we’re trying to live faithfully (I John 5.8).
For the sake of brevity, we’ll stop there. How cool is that our eternal home is being held by God, or that our record is kept clean by Jesus if we’re trying to be faithful? The two most important assets a Christian has is their eternal home and spiritual state. The first can never be taken away, and the second can only be lost if we give it up willingly and intentionally. God is good.
4 thoughts on “Guard”
He is sooooooooooooooooo good and so worthy of our praise!!! Psalm 103:1
Hello Christian Brother,
Why shouldn’t we still be good stewards of the earth‘s resources ? Is there a better argument we as Christians can use against the drastic climate change measures radical folks promote?
Respectfully and prayerfully,
> JILL PARHAM CROSSVILLE, TN > 931-248-5195
Jill, I didn’t write the article but I do maintain the blog. I do know what Gary’s point is. It is not about the stewardship aspect but instead about one of the major talking points from those who put forward climate change prevention policies–that we are going to destroy the earth with pollution. His point there is that God is guarding this earth until He decides to destroy it. As with anything, poor decisions have consequences. Without good stewardship, we can have an earth that is more polluted and less pleasant to live on. He grew up in Colorado, where we lived for 13 years. We appreciate the importance of a clean environment. I hope that clarifies what he was saying on that point.
Hi Jill! I appreciate your input. As a millennial, I have observed peers gripped with actual fear that our transportation and manufacturing sectors are rapidly causing the demise of our planet. I do very strongly believe in the importance of responsibility and ethical practices. My goal was to hopefully alleviate some of those anxieties by pointing out that our earth is being preserved supernaturally by God, and that destruction will come by His appearance alone. Other than that, the bible simply states that we should be good citizens who pray for our leaders and follow the law as long as it doesn’t violate God’s word (I Timothy 2.1-3; Romans 13.1-3; 6,7). Hope this addresses your concerns, and thank you for your input!