|Appointed to Rule|
Creation Matters (3)
…what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings…You have given him dominion over the works of your hands…
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The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. He created it as a great reflecting-glass of His own glory, so that every sentient being might wonder, delight, and participate in the very being of God. And although God made the cosmos complete and wholly to His satisfaction, He left in it room for improvement. For all its beauty and majesty, the glory of the creation, as God made it, was amenable to being polished to an even brighter and more glorious sheen. The glory of God is without end; it can be enlarged, brightened, and extended throughout the cosmos in infinitely more glorious ways. And precisely for the pursuit of this lofty objective, God made people and gave them the mandate of exercising dominion over all the creatures God had made.
Secularists have scoffed at the idea of man’s exercising dominion over the earth. In particular they have heaped scorn on the Christian worldview, which they regard as having given birth to an exploitative approach to the earth in the name of exercising dominion. To be fair, many developers of earth’s resources have taken just that approach, and, sadly, even some of them, as it were, in the Name of the Lord. But when God called men to exercise dominion over the creation, He meant that they should do so in a way that, like everything else in the creation, reflected His goodness, beauty, and truth. Thus, when human beings consider how they might explore, engage, develop, and use the earth and its resources, they must be careful that their endeavors reflect the divine purpose and aim at ends that will be pleasing to God first of all.
People, in other words, have been appointed by God as stewards of His creation. God expects us to receive the creation as a gift and to use it in ways that will enlarge and polish the sheen of the divine reflecting-glass which is the earth and everything in it. The dominion God exercises today through the risen and ascended Lord Jesus Christ is a rule unto righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17). The Apostle Paul calls on the followers of Jesus Christ to take those guiding precepts and objectives as their own in seeking to advance the rule of King Jesus within the bounds of their own appointed place of stewardship (Rom. 14:18). This includes every aspect of the created order with which we, as the redeemed of the Lord, have interaction or responsibility.
God has entrusted to each one of us the care of His creation, as much of it comes into our hands, or that we are otherwise able to affect. Our stewardship must be a dominion of beauty, goodness, truth, righteousness, peace, and joy in which the work of the Spirit of God can flourish and prosper through every aspect of the creation unto God’s glory.
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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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