At the completion of creation, God formed man in His image,
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. Genesis 1:26
What did God mean when He told Adam that he was to have dominion over the fish, birds, livestock, over all the earth and every creeping thing?
While God cares for His creation with unseen hands, humans, who are made in God’s image, are called upon to care for the creation with their physical hands and minds. It means that man is in charge of caring for all of creation. That includes all of the plants, animals and environments. We are responsible for all of creation.
God endowed us with certain attributes – intelligence, creativity, language, so that we could rule well.
Adam’s first task was to name the animals that God brought to him. The privilege of naming is a serious responsibility, like a parent naming a child. In the Bible, the act of giving names is filled with significance. It’s a token of authority and a sign of personal knowledge about the object named, as when God first named the day and night, heaven and earth.
For Adam, naming the animals was a first step in taking dominion over them.
Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. Genesis 2:19-20
Not only do we have dominion over all of creation, God also told us to subdue the earth:
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.
So now what does it mean to subdue the earth?
It means that God not only wants us to be in charge and take responsibility over His creation, but He also wants man to manage and control it. Humans are responsible to study and understand the world so they could govern wisely. Just like a wildlife manager studies in college so that they are equipped to help manage wild animals in a given area, God was telling Adam that we are to study and learn as much as we can about all of His creation so that we can effectively manage and control it.
Many atheists and evolutionists claim that Christians are the ones who are destroying the environment because we claim to have dominion over it. And in some cases, there have been some who abused that power. However, most of the destruction of the environment has come from non-Christian nations and non-Christian companies.
Having dominion over creation does not give us the right to abuse it, deplete it or abuse it. We have a responsibility to not only manage it but we also have the responsibility to pass it on to our offspring in good condition.
For all of us, the privilege of ruling comes with great responsibility. We will be called upon to give an account to God of how well we have cared for His creation, how well we loved, how well we judged, how well we ruled. In short we’ll be judged for how well we served God as overseers of His creation.
by Tedd and Margy Tripp
From interaction with their peers to the instruction and correction that they receive at home, children interpret their experience from a worldview that seeks to answer their fundamental questions: Who am I? What do I exist for? Where can I find joy?
As parents, we need to be providing our children with a consistent, persuasive, and biblical framework for understanding the world God has made and their place in it. The instruction that we provide for them should not only inform their mind; it should be directed towards persuading their hearts of the wisdom and truthfulness of Gods ways. We must impress truth on our children’s hearts, not to control or manage them, but to point them to the greatest joy and happiness that they can experiencedelighting in God and the goodness of his ways.
Instructing a Childs Heart is an essential follow-up to Tedd Tripp’s previous bestseller, Shepherding a Childs Heart. This book gives practical instruction aimed at helping parents instruct their children in ways that will persuade them of God’s wisdom. Instead of focusing solely on changing a child’s behavior, the authors help us to look at the heart of the child. Point your child toward the happiness they will find from doing things God’s way!