Rev. Dr. Niveen Ibrahim Sarras
1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14-- Wisdom and Climate Change
August 15, 2021
An angel appears at a faculty meeting and tells the dean that in return for his unselfish and exemplary behavior, the Lord will reward him with his choice of infinite wealth, wisdom, or beauty. Without hesitating, the dean selects infinite wisdom.
"Done!" says the angel, and disappears in a cloud of smoke and a bolt of lightning. Now, all heads turn toward the dean, who sits surrounded by a faint halo of light. At length, one of his colleagues whispers, "Say something."
The dean looks at them and says, "I should have taken the money." 
King Solomon saw in wisdom the most voluble thing to possess. More valuable than any wealth. King Solomon says to God, "9Give your servant, therefore, an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?" God was pleased with him and granted Solomon peace and wealth alongside wisdom because he chose wisdom. If you were Solomon, what would you ask God? All of us need wisdom. Without wisdom, we cannot navigate our path in life. We need the wisdom to relate to one another, succeed in our job, and take care of the environment.
It is too late to talk about climate change once a year on Earth Day because it is happening now. We need to ask God to give us the wisdom to take care of our world. It is hard to think that climate change is not real. A lot is happening in the world that forces us to believe it is true. The recent report by the United Nations climate change emphasizes a hotter future is inevitable, and human's actions over decades are the cause. Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist, explains that
Scientists measure how Carbon Dioxide is increasing in the atmosphere as we burn fossil fuels. Carbon Dioxide traps heat, keeping it from going out to space, and warming the air. Climate change matters because it affects people. It increases heavy rainfall, heat waves, and the severity of hurricanes.
The wildfires on the West Coast and Canada have affected our lives in Wisconsin. We heard on the news about wildfires in Algeria, Turkey, and Greece. Flood in Sudan, South Korea, and Germany. I heard on Wisconsin Public radio that over half of Wisconsin is in moderate to extreme drought. Because of the excessive heat, the ice is melting in Antarctica, and the global sea level is rising. These signs of climate change scream in our faces saying we are fools, not wise. We have chosen wealth and greed over wisdom and understanding.
God created a marvelous world and gave it to us as a gift. Our greedy actions have destroyed God's work. Psalm 111:10 states that "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Fear and honor of God mean being good and faithful stewards of this earth planet. Our polluted water and air expose our sinful life. Our greed stresses that we prefer wealth over wisdom.
We have not cared enough about God's creation. If we do not care about our planet, we do not care about ourselves and our neighbor. This statement is interesting because our greed and self-interest motivate us to abuse our creation, ourselves, and dishonor God, the creator.
Like someone is diagnosed with obesity and diabetes, not changing daily habits, the illness will worsen and probably die. Are we wise enough to repent and change our actions that harm our planet? Our planet is heating up. If we do not do anything about it, as people of faith, this planet would not be suitable for us and all creatures to inhabit.
Some Christians believe that climate change is a myth. God is in control of everything. These Christians argue, suppose God wants to change the climate, nothing we can do about it. I believe that God is in control. However, as a Christian and biblical scholar, I believe that God created us with free will. There are consequences to our choices. For example, using dirty energy is not a good choice. Moving to clean energy is consistent with our values as Christians because investing in it gives us clean air and water.
Foolishness means humans decide to use toxic chemicals in God's atmosphere. In contrast, wisdom calls us to be faithful and good stewards of the creation that God gave us as a gift. God is inviting you and me to live in harmony with the planet. Are we going to do it? Are we going to make this planet a healthy and enjoyable place for the next generation? Throughout this week, I invite you to ponder how you can adopt new habits to live in harmony with our earth planet.
 Katharine Hayhoe, Climate Change and our Christian Faith, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VIsnxuH7X0