11 The Lord said to Moses:
12 Find out how many grown men there are in Israel and require each of them to pay me to keep him safe from danger while you are counting them. 13-15 Each man over nineteen, whether rich or poor, must pay me the same amount of money, weighed according to the official standards. 16 This money is to be used for the upkeep of the sacred tent, and because of it, I will never forget my people.
17 Soon the forest of Lebanon
will become a field with crops,
thick as a forest.[d]
18 The deaf will be able to hear
whatever is read to them;
the blind will be freed
from a life of darkness.
19 The poor and the needy
will celebrate and shout
because of the Lord,
the holy God of Israel.
20 All who are cruel and arrogant
will be gone forever.
Those who live by crime
21 together with everyone
who tells lies in court
and keeps innocent people
from getting a fair trial.
World Scripture and the Teachings of
Sun Myung Moon
God’s Creation and Human Creativity
The Sanctity of Nature
Nature is sacred; all creatures great and small are endowed with God’s life and a modicum of God’s spirit. this insight, shared by all religious traditions, is the basis of reverence and respect for all living things. in the Abrahamic religions, God created every creature according to his purpose and imbued with his loving heart. therefore, every existence, down to a grain of sand or a blade of grass, contains elements of the divine. Furthermore, nature exhibits a marvelous balance. hence, nature is a reliable source of poetic and religious inspiration. by contemplating nature in its original purity, we can touch God.
As sensitive people recognize, all creatures possess some level of conscious awareness. the diverse species of animals and plants form tribes and nations like the races and nations of man. they are our brothers and sisters, supported by the same Mother earth that lent us the elements that constitute our bodies and sustain our life. When thinking of all the things nature provides, we have much to be thankful for. not only that; as Father Moon teaches, each creature, a precious living masterpiece of God, exists for me—for my enjoyment, inspiration and instruction, to love and care for.
1. Divinity within the Natural World
The earth is the Lord ’s and the fullness
the world and those who dwell therein.
Even in a single leaf of a tree, or a tender blade of
grass, the awe-inspiring Deity manifests itself.
This earth is a garden,
the Lord its gardener,
cherishing all, none neglected.
Adi Granth, Mahj Ashtpadi 1, M.3, p. 118 (Sikhism)
My energy enters the earth,
Sustaining all that lives:
I became the moon,
Giver of water and sap,
To feed the plants and trees.
Bhagavad-Gita 15.13 (Hinduism)
The solid sky,
the cloudy sky,
the good sky,
the straight sky.
The earth produces herbs.
The herbs cause us to live.
They cause long life.
They cause us to be happy.
The good life,
may it prevail with the air.
May it increase.
May it be straight to the end.
Sweet Medicine’s earth is good.
Sweet Medicine’s earth is completed.
Sweet Medicine’s earth follows the eternal
Sweet Medicine’s earth is washed and flows.
Cheyenne Song (Native American Religion)
Thou makest springs gush forth in the valleys;
they flow between the hills,
they give drink to every beast of the field;
the wild asses quench their thirst.
By them the birds of the air have their
they sing among the branches.
From thy lofty abode thou waterest the
the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy work.
Thou dost cause the grass to grow for the
and plants for man to cultivate,
that he may bring forth food from the earth,
and wine to gladden the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine,
and bread to strengthen man’s heart.
The trees of the l ord are watered abundantly,
the cedars of Lebanon which he planted.
In them the birds build their nests…
O l ord , how manifold are thy works!
The stream crosses the path, the path crosses
Which of them is the elder?
Did we not cut the path to go and meet this
The stream had its origin long, long ago.
It had its origin in the Creator.
He created things pure, pure, tano.
Ashanti Verse (African Traditional Religion)
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