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The Bible I use is the Women of Faith Study Bible, New International Version, published by Zondervan. All references and quoted scriptures are from this version of The Holy Bible.
God was so busy those first 6 days and so incredibly productive! He made the heavens and earth, day and night, land and water, and plants and animals. And then he made us – people, in his very own image – and gave us the instruction to rule over the living creatures of the earth.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. (Genesis 1:26)
Let’s focus for a minute on the phrase “rule over” and what that means in God’s terms versus our worldly definition. This is not meant to give humans complete power of destruction and at-will use of the world’s resources and all living things. Remember we were made in God’s image, so we are a true representation of him. As God’s representatives, it is our responsibility to use and, yes, enjoy the wonderful resources of this world, but the other side to that is we must equally respect and protect these same resources. For great insight into the biblical explanation of how we are to rule over what God has created, read this article over on the site of the Institute of Faith, Works & Economics.
What a huge responsibility we have been given to take care of this world, including the resources and living creatures! It is honoring to God when he sees us enjoying his creation in a loving and respectful manner. Parents are honored when their children appreciate and care for the things they are given. It shows they are aware of the blessing they’ve been given and want to honor that blessing, and the givers of the gift, by taking care of what they’ve been entrusted with.
The same when we become a parent. I’m sure we consider the blessing of a child the ultimate gift from God (the gift of life!), but oh how it carries with it an amazing responsibility! Just as with all other blessings God has given us, responsibly enjoying and caring for the gift of a child honors God.
I don’t believe it’s hard to be a true representative of God and to follow his instruction of ruling over the earth as he instructed. We are designed by him in his image so it’s what we’re made for. Understanding our role as his representatives and embracing his character (image) as our own will naturally lead us to taking care of this earth and its resources and people in a way that blesses and honors our Creator.
Are you writing through the Bible or have another way to share what you’re learning in the Word? Please comment below and let us know!
If you’d like to see the previous posts in this series, click on the links below: