“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.” So, God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:26-27). God created man to have dominion over His earthly creation. Sounds important.
Dominion is defined as “The power or right of governing and controlling.” God, therefore, gave man the very unique responsibility to watch over all that He had created, to care for it, to bring order to it, to be God’s hands and feet within it. So, how is that going?
I think we can all agree that, as a collective, we haven’t lived up to this calling very well. All around us are the scars of human abuse and selfish ambition. Our forests are shrinking, our ice burgs are melting, and our atmosphere is thinning. God gave us a very unique opportunity and we are abusing His trust.
The Psalmist expands on God’s plans for us more poetically, “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas” (Psalm 8:3-8)
Despite our unworthiness and ignorance, God continues to depend on us to be the caretakers of His creation. He continues to offer His guidance even though we have gone astray time and time again. As He looks down on His creation, He still longs for us to enjoy all that He has made and to take care of it so that future generations might do the same.
Some might think of what God has done and wonder why He put so much faith in such faulty people. To be fair, when He gave man dominion, it was before our fall into sin. The abuse of all He has created is just another example of what sin has brought into this world.
But it goes much deeper than mere timing. When God gave us dominion over His creation, he did so that we might learn more intensely how to love. That is still His goal, that as we ponder on the wonder of His creation and all he has provided so that we might be blessed, we might come to realize the gift and learn to cherish it as a parent cares for their child.
By giving us dominion, He has shown us a love that goes beyond words. Imagine, our God, “Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come” (Ephesians 1:21), has allowed us to govern and control something that He holds precious in His sight. He has granted us authority over things that He made by His own Word. He has placed trust in us, even though we are lower than the heavenly beings.
Now is the time we must reward God for all the trust He has placed in us. Though we have not done so well, God has not taken dominion of His creation away from us. He still trusts in us to be the caretakers we were created to be.
We do that by showing love to all of creation, our fellow human beings, the animals, even the earth itself. Every step we take should be with the attitude to make the world a better place. Every breath we take should be a reminder of what a great gift God’s creation has been. Every thought should be accompanied with the realization that the God of all dominion over everything that was made has given us an amazing opportunity to make a kingdom difference.
We must also remember that ultimate dominion was given to His Son, and it is to Him that we are to be thankful for all that is good and right. By His death and resurrection, He established dominion over us that we might be saved forever. A dominion of love that lasts an eternity, well past the time that this earthly creation will pass from the old earth to the new. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, thank you for gifting us with all you have created and for giving us the power to govern and control what You have made. Forgive us for falling short of Your goals for us and teach us a better way. Amen.