In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. Previously we’ve been looking at God’s providence, particularly to humans in the beginning. Thus we saw that God initially provided humans with paradise. This week I want to look how God provided humans with dominion over creation.
When God created the world, he created many creatures; but he did not create them all with equal status to one another – some creatures were subject to other creatures. For example, God says in Genesis that plants are subject to animals as their food: ‘”And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground–everything that has the breath of life in it–I give every green plant for food.” And it was so’ (Genesis 1:30).
And it is in the gracious providence of God that humans were placed over all the creatures. We read in Genesis: ‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food”‘ (Genesis 1:27-29). As humans are in God’s image they hold pride of place among God’s creation.
Why God gave humans such authority we cannot really know. David asks this question and from his own ponderings simply turns to glorify God: ‘When I consider 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, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!’ (Psalm 8:3-9). We cannot know why God would graciously give us dominion, but we should worship him for it.
Do you recognise that God gave you dominion over his creation and worship him? Or do you abuse your dominion and worship yourself instead? Joel Radford.