By Samuel Duarte
This week we learned about how and why the earth and climate don’t work together flawlessly. This leads us to ask the questions, Does God care? Is he in control? Or are we at the mercy of nature? And, how should we live as stewards in this world?
Thankfully God has not left us alone. He still preserves and always sustains his creation. We as human beings have a task to work on. God has commanded us too, ‘be fruitful and multiply and to fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish, and so forth. The Hebrew verb כּבשׁ (kĕbăš to subdue) shows the act of dominance by force. Also the Hebrew word רדה (rādāh, ‘to rule, to have dominion’) overlaps with kĕbăš. Sadly there are two ditches that people fall in to.
First, some people think that we should value animals as highly as we do humans. Calv in DeWitt believes that we are not the only ones commanded to take domain. He claims that Gen 1 is telling the animals to take domain. However DeWitt must not have read farther on in Gen 1. Gen 1:28 says to mankind, ‘Be fruitful and multiply,’ it also says,’ subdue it and have dominion over creation. God does not command the birds, fish, or livestock to have domain over the creation.
The second ditch that people may fall into is taking the Bible, in saying to subdue the creation, means they can destroy the earth. This is not the case! We have domain over the land to use it in the way God intended it to be used. We are to subdue the earth rightly. To say it simply, we need to exercise domain without being destructive.
As we wrap this up, let us understand that being a Christian means being a good steward. God has given this earth as a blessing for us to use. As we live our lives we need to have a heart that loves God and wants to obey him by caring for his creation.