The “big browns” are spawning in the Owyhee River—brown trout beginning their fall nesting ritual. You can see them excavating their nests in the gravelly shallows.
Wise fishermen know that fish are spawning and try not to disturb them. They avoid walking on gravel bars where they might trample the eggs, or wading upstream from the nests where they might dislodge debris that can smother them. And they don’t fish for these trout, though it’s tempting to do so as they rest near their nests.
These precautions are part of an ethic that governs responsible fishing. But there is a deeper and a better cause.
The Scriptures stress the fact that God has given us the earth (Gen. 1:28–30). It is ours to use, but we must use it as those who love it.
I muse on the work of God’s hands: a partridge calling across a canyon, a bull elk bugling up a fight, a herd of antelope far off in the distance, a brook trout and its kaleidoscopic rose moles, a mother otter playing in a stream with her pups—I love all these things, for they have been given to me for my delight, out of my Father’s great love.
And what I love, I protect.
Heavenly Father, You have put us here to enjoy and ponder Your marvelous creation. May everything You have made remind us of Your goodness, love, and care.
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Care for creation honors the Creator.
God gave specific instructions on how the Israelites should treat the land He had given them (Ex. 23:10–11; Lev. 25:1–7). Just as His people were commanded to rest every seventh day, “[their] land [was] to have a year of rest” (Lev. 25:5). “For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops, but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused” (Ex. 23:10–11). Modern scientists have supported the practice of periodically letting land lay fallow, allowing the land’s nutrients to be replenished and productivity rejuvenated.
Our wise Creator cares for those He created as well as the earth He has given us. How can we be better stewards of God’s creation?