Thursday, October 30, 2014

Genesis 1:1

I love the images in the beginning of God creating the earth--of the molding and shaping that took place. To me it speaks of a God invested in creating beautiful and functional things.

God creates Adam and Eve-male and female.

 26 ¶And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
 29 ¶And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

The word dominion is used two times in this section. Dominion means the right of governing or controlling. I like to think of dominion in the context of stewardship, which means overseeing or caring for something worth preserving.
In trying to find what the original word in Hebrew for dominion was, I came across a blog which said the word used in Genesis 1:28 is "radah" which means a royal form of ruling, according to this blog. The authors of the blog, Poiesus Theou, suggest that God has set forth how Kings and Rulers should rule in Psalms 72:12-14. 

12 For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper.
 13 He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.
 14 He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight.
In this passage, David is speaking of his son, Solomon, and comparing him to the Messiah.
I like the imagery of a king caring for the needy and the poor. I like tying the two passages together in commanding Adam and Eve to have dominion over the earth--to care for it and to utilize the gifts of the earth to care for its people, especially since they would be so reliant upon the earth to care for their own children.
I recently learned that about 1/3 of the food produced in the world is thrown away--wasted. It is terrible because this food could actually be used to feed its people who are starving. This brings me to the section where Adam and Eve are commanded to multiply and replenish the earth. 
The earth currently has about 7 billion inhabitants. Proponents of population control say that the earth is full and can't possibly reasonably sustain or support this many people or the people to come in the future. Yet, proper stewardship of the earth, utilizing resources wisely, better distribution of food, along with plummeting populations in Russia, Japan, and parts of Europe suggest otherwise. I think we have less of a resource problem and more of a distribution problem. We also have a major greediness problem. 
God's commandment to Adam and Eve to have children is one that I believe all of the people on the earth are to fulfill. Obviously, I am pretty invested in it. 

I think this is a critical part of the Plan of Salvation.
HUSBAND AND WIFE have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

Question: Why is this story of creation one that is so compelling and important. And why do we hear it over and over again?


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