Exploring the Dominion God Has Given to Us
After God created Adam and Eve, He spoke a blessing over them and then told them to rule over or have dominion over all that He had created. Today we’re going to talk about what dominion means and the responsibility we have because we have been given dominion.
God blessed them and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the land, and conquer it. Rule over the fish of the sea, the flying creatures of the sky, and over every animal that crawls on the land.” Genesis 1:28
Instead of the word “rule,” some versions of the Bible use the word “dominion.” What does it mean to rule or to have dominion over all of God’s creation? According to the dictionary, dominion means to have sovereignty or control. Some synonyms (words that mean the same thing) for dominion are superiority, authority, mastery or control.
Some people believe having dominion means they can do whatever they want when it comes to God’s creation. They use another word that is similar ... domination. They believe they have the right to dominate God’s creation. But is this true?
To answer this question, let’s look at dominion a little differently.
Dominion is often associated with the authority a king has over his kingdom. When talking about a king’s dominion, the word “sovereignty” is often used. Notice that the word “reign” is in the middle of sovereignty ... like a king reigns over his kingdom. He has sovereignty. Just as these people who believe they can do whatever they want, some kings believe they can do whatever they want within “their” kingdom and to “their” people. Depending upon what they decide, they may be a “good” king, or they can be a “bad” king. Good kings know they have a responsibility to care for the people in their kingdom. Bad kings believe that they have the right to control the people. Can you see the difference?
God gave dominion over the earth and all that it contains to humans. Many people believe they can do what they want with it. And what has happened? They have abused it severely! Resources have been wasted. Some are almost totally used up. Animals have been hunted to extinction. People destroy jungles and rainforest, along with all the plants and animals that live in them. But it doesn’t stop there. People abuse and do horrible things to other people – God’s greatest creation.
This is WRONG!
The earth is Adonai's and all that fills it - the world, and those dwelling on it. For He founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers. Psalm 24:1-2 TLV
Correct dominion demands that we determine what is best for God’s creation and then do what is right so that we can please our Father in heaven. We need to remind ourselves that NOTHING is ours. Everything belongs to God and we are to take care of it for Him.
We need to remember that dominion is a responsibility, not a privilege.
What do you think? Have you been a good steward of the things that God has given you?
Speaking of humans, David said, “You gave him dominion over the works of Your hands. You put all things under their feet.” Psalm 8:7
God put all the works of His hands – His creation - under our feet. He gave it to us to take care of for Him. When God gives us something to take care of for Him ... do you know what that is called?
When God gives you something to take care of for Him, this is called stewardship. Stewardship means that you are responsible for taking care of what God has given you and keeping it safe until God decides to take care of it for Himself once again. Until that time, He has given us the responsibility of taking care of it for Him.
Did you know that something as simple as recycling is being a good steward?
Yes! Recycling means that we are not depositing needless trash on God’s earth. It means that we are reusing the resources He has given us and not wasting them. That means we’re conserving other resources that would have been used to create new plastic, metal or glass products. Something as simple as recycling is important and shows that we value what God has given us to watch over.
Can you think of other activities you can do to be a good steward of God’s earth and all that is in it?
Notice that dominion and domination sound very much alike. Dominion implies taking care of something. Domination implies controlling something. Too many people think dominion means domination.
Has this changed the way you think of the dominion that God has given to people?
Has it changed the way you will interact with the world God has given us to take care of?
Heavenly Father, thanks for showing me what it means to have proper dominion over your creation. I’m sorry for the times that I have not taken care of your creation as you want me to do. I realize now that it’s my responsibility to do all that I can to take care of the earth and all that is in it. I pray that you will guide my steps and help me to know what I can do that will please you and when you want me to do it.
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© 2020 Cindy Murdoch