June 22, 2016
The directive in Genesis 1:28 to the first humans deals with expanding the family – “have children and populate the earth” – and this is a very important part of the assignment. But there is more: “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’”
Creator God’s day-to-day creation process, as outlined in Genesis 1, includes the repeated phrase: “It was good.” I like to imagine what Planet Earth would be like today if Adam and Eve had not listened to the counterfeit god, Satan. Their disobedience brought the curse of sin into our world.
In a perfect world, the focus would be entirely on the use, and never abuse, of what God created. Ruling and subduing the natural world would bring pleasure to humans and honor to God. Everything would be enjoyed and nothing would be wasted. There would be no discussions about “saving the environment.”
When sin entered our world, everything changed. Instead of humans enjoying the Presence of God, they hid from Him. Whereas they once enjoyed the security of obedience, they now were in competition with the Creator. In place of joyful management, they now faced the challenge of invasive weeds, tired bodies and eventually certain death. Work took on an entirely new perspective.
Even “be fruitful and increase in number” became a painful process. And the joy of holy submission to God and to each other progressed into a battle for position and power. “It was good” changed to: “It was still good because God created it, but there was the presence of evil, which is not good.”
The assignment to fill and manage the Planet has not changed, but the process can be painful and tiring. Understanding this helps us handle life’s challenges. And continuing to work creatively with the Creator to carry out His assignment in the best way possible becomes a joyful journey for everyone who submits to His Word and appreciates His Grace. I continue to be amazed at God’s patience and persistence in His desire to have a relationship with us.
Pastor Bill Ehmann