Keeping it Green

Who is responsible for maintaining God’s good creation? Why, we are friends.

thGenesis 1:26-28 reads this way:

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27 So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Mankind is to rule over the earth; he is to subdue the earth. Man has bee given dominion over the creation.

The first part of this command (the “Be Fruitful” part) is certainly being taken care of nicely. The world’s population, as of mid-October, was estimated to be more than 7,000,000,000. 

Subduing the earth involves much more. We have been placed in charge of the earth as stewards. The earth does not belong to us; it is the Lord’s, including everything in it. Psalm 24:1 states “The earth is the Lord‘s and the fullness thereof the world and those who dwell therein.”  So, for us, it’s not a matter of ownership, but of management. We are to care for the earth and use it for our own needs.

Gen. 2:15 tells us, “ The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”  There you have it. This is the cultural mandate and mankind’s job description in a nutshell. Work it and take care of it. Then verses 16-17 add  “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Mankind was to enjoy the fruit of the earth and of his labors, but he was not to sin against God. Work. Take care of the earth, enjoy what it provides. That’s dominion.

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