Goliath Goes Green

Kermit the Frog used to sing that it’s not easy being green. Nowadays, if you’re not green, you might get run over by an electric car if the driver sees you throwing your plastic yogurt cup into anything other than a recycling bin. The green movement is here to stay. “Going green” no longer just describes the Incredible Hulk, St. Patrick’s Day revelers, seasick boaters, or the moldy Christmas fruitcake still in my fridge from last year (one slice of which may, in fact, weigh more than the Hulk).

To misquote Wall Street’s Gordon Gekko: “Green is good.” And we Bible believers ought to be at the forefront of environmental protection. After all, taking care of the planet is something God’s asked us to do since the beginning. Look at Genesis 2: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” A few sentences later, the first instance of recycling is recorded when God makes Eve from Adam’s rib. The green movement was off to a great start until our little couple in paradise disobeyed the divine order to stay away from the Tree of the Knowledge of How to Make Styrofoam. Or something like that.

Anyway, I got to wondering what might have happened if “going green” had caught on again later in the Bible. It might have turned out sort of like this:

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Now the Israelites and the Philistines gathered their forces for war at the Valley of Elah, next to the Prius dealership. Out of the Philistine camp came a champion named Goliath, who was very tall and strong (because he only ate organic). He wore a helmet made from a recycled Hummer chassis and a breastplate of such thickly woven hemp natural fibers that no sword could penetrate it; even a harpoon from a ship belonging to the evil whaling industry would be thwarted.

“Who dares challenge me in battle?” Goliath thundered, but not so loud that he could be cited for noise pollution.

“I dare!” shouted young David, a shepherd just arrived from his father’s free-range farm, where all the sheep are made of soy.

“Why, you’re just a boy!” sneered Goliath. “No bigger than the reusable ceramic mug of Fair Trade certified coffee I had this morning! I’ll be flicking you off the bottom of my sandal—which reminds me to boast that my carbon footprint is well below average!”

David placed in his biodegradable sling a smooth stone he had earlier found at a stream, where he had been careful not to disturb the turtle hatching grounds. He slung the stone and struck Goliath in the forehead, the impact as deadly as hair spray on the ozone layer. As the giant fell backwards to the ground, he made a dying effort not to crash into the branches of a rare redwood tree behind him.

That day the Israelites were reminded that even greater than solar power or wind power is the power of God over his enemies. Hallelujah! [ed. note: Hallelujah is an ancient Hebrew word meaning “Don’t litter”]

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But alas, that’s not how the Scriptures tell it, and so we’re all just now getting back to learning what it takes to be good stewards of Creation. I, for one, will do my part to uphold this sacred trust.

For example, to get that fruitcake out of my fridge, I’m renting a forklift that runs on used vegetable oil.

Cuyler Black