•  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
It had been a long hot day of driving across Missouri, and the thought of stopping for the night was appealing. A look at the guide book showed a good campground at the next exit, so the van eased off the interstate and down to—where?
The map showed a town; the guide book marked a campground, but all that could be seen was a barricade across the road and a post with the name of the town that had been there: Times Beach.
True, there had been a town, there had been a camp, but map and book were both out of date. What had once been a thriving little town of 2,200 people — a little town where children played and men and women lived and worked and went on with their daily lives — was now a fenced-off area closed to human habitation. It was too polluted with the chemical "dioxin" to live in.
Pollution — a fact of life today. Times Beach was polluted. One small town, but it cost the United States government $33, 000,000 to move the populace to safety. Polluted!
In Alaska today there are more ghost towns in the making, towns where the inhabitants' food and livelihood are dependent on the fishing and other resources of the water in Prince William Sound. Oil is coating the whole shoreline, up to six inches of deadly black sludge destroying that once pristine habitat of wildlife and of the people who lived there. Millions of dollars have been spent, but it is unlikely that it can ever really be restored. It is too polluted.
In a southern state, farm workers went into a newly sprayed field. By noon thirty-six of them were ill and in hospitals with an acute reaction to the pesticide. A very minor incident, but no small matter to the sick workers, nor to the farmer who plowed up sixteen acres of cauliflower nearly ready to be harvested, nor to the grocery chain that pulled all the crop already shipped off its shelves and destroyed it. It was not a big, headline-making incident, but such small things are happening all over the world — all over the world we hear the same story, the same word: polluted!
Well might God say, "This is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you." Mic. 2:1010Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction. (Micah 2:10). But He was not speaking of toxic chemicals, oil spills, contaminated food or drinking water! The problem of "the pollutions of the world" is far worse.
What can we say of the state of the world when drug abuse and robbery and assault and murder are the news of every day, when the breakdown of family life has become a bitter fact, when ten percent of the babies in some areas are born cocaine-damaged or already infected with a deadly disease, when, from the highest to the lowest, greed seems to be the number one motive — the list could go on and on. If this isn't pollution of the worst kind, what is?
The whole earth is suffering from pollution: physical, moral and spiritual. Physical pollution we can't escape; the very air we breathe and the water we drink are infected. Moral and spiritual pollution is another matter. Let's forget the big words and call it simply SIN. Sin can be dealt with; God has a remedy for that.
The Bible tells us that "all have sinned." So we are sinners, every one of us, and part of the sinful world. BUT "God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Rom. 5:88But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8).
It is true that "all have sinned," but there is the promise to "all that believe" that they are "justified from all things." Now they can say, "the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:77But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 1:7).