There are the simple ‘what you sow you’ll reap’ scenarios – if you take care of a fig tree and you will have figs to eat or employees who take care of their employers will be honoured.
That’s what the scripture says in Hebrews 10:35. It tells us not to cast away our confidence, for it will be richly rewarded. That’s saying if we will stay in faith, if we will keep believing, keep hoping, keep doing the right thing, God promises there will be a reward.
There are the personal that challenge us to understand that it is our own face that we see reflected in the water and it is our own self that we see in our heart.
In the story of Cain and Abel, we see how envy led Cain to commit the ultimate injustice against his brother, which in turn ruptured the relationship between Cain and God, and between Cain and the earth from which he was banished. This is seen clearly in the dramatic exchange between God and Cain. God asks: “Where is Abel your brother?” Cain answers that he does not know, and God persists: “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground” (Gen 4:9-11). Disregard for the duty to cultivate and keep up a proper relationship with my neighbour, for whose care and custody I am responsible, ruins my relationship with my self, with others, with God and with the earth. When all these relationships are neglected, when justice no longer dwells in the land, the Bible tells us that life itself is endangered. We see this in the story of Noah, where God threatens to do away with humanity because of its constant failure to fulfil the requirements of justice and peace: “I have determined to make an end of all flesh; for the earth is filled with violence through them” (Gen 6:13). These ancient stories, full of symbolism, bear witness to a conviction which we today share, that everything is interconnected, and that genuine care for our own lives and our relationships with nature is inseparable from fraternity, justice and faithfulness to others.
There are current worldviews where human desires are like the world of the dead—there is always room for more.
It is impossible to live consistently and happily within such a world view. If one lives consistently, they will not be happy; if one lives happily, it is only because they are not consistent. Francis Schaeffer has explained this point well. Modern man, says Schaeffer, resides in a two-story universe. In the lower story is the finite world without God; here life is absurd. In the upper story are meaning, value, and purpose. Now modern man lives in the lower story because he believes there is no God. But he cannot live happily in such an absurd world; therefore, he continually makes leaps of faith into the upper story to affirm meaning, value, and purpose, even though he has no right to, since he does not believe in God.