The Dominion Mandate
Genesis 1:24-31. "The Dominion Mandate" Genesis 1:24-31. 24 And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds-livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds." And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 26 Then 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 birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." 29 And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. (ESV) In July 1969, Astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the surface of the moon. When he did so he wrote out and left these words on the lunar surface from Psalm 8:3-4: "When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, The moon and stars, which you have ordained, What is man that you are mindful of him, And the son of man that you visit him?. These verses answer our fundamental questions of Who are we? And Where have we come from? As we look at the vast heavens made larger by all that astronomers tell us, what is our place in the universe? The only true and satisfying answer is found in this revelation from God. In Genesis 1:24-31, on the sixth and final day of physical creation, God forms the creatures that are to inhabit the dry land. In this activity: God creates the animal kingdom, which includes livestock, creeping things and wild animals; then, humans are formed. As the final object of God's creation, humanity represents the culmination of creation. Recognizing how precious and valuable people are in the sight of God, we see that they are made in the image of God, male and female, with distinct but complementary roles. As vice-regents of the planet, they are charged to faithfully work. Their stewardship is a divinely commissioned Dominion mandate. God charges His created beings to a specific Dominion Mandate. In Genesis 1:24-31 we see: 1) The Mandate (Genesis 1:24-26), 2) The Mission (Genesis 1:27-28) and finally, 3) The Means (Genesis 1:29-31) God charges His created beings to a specific Dominion Mandate as seen through: 1) The Mandate (Genesis 1:24-26) Genesis 1:24-26. 24 And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds-livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds." And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 26 Then 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 birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." On the third day, 'the earth' sprouted forth vegetation at God's command. Now 'the earth' is to produce land animals from the direct command of God to 'bring forth' (jussive). Apparently, the earth is serving as the secondary cause in the generation of living creatures. These creatures are brought forth according to their kinds. This notation kills the idea of evolution. Animals do not evolve into humans. They reproduce "according to their kinds." Animals produce animals not humans (Butler, J. G. (2008). Analytical Bible Expositor: Genesis (p. 16). LBC Publications.) Here in Genesis 1:24, three categories of animals are listed. The first, "livestock/cattle", (behēmāh), often describes large, four-footed, domesticated animals. Second, the expression 'creeping things' refers to small animals. And third, the term 'beasts of the earth' probably signifies wild animals, in contrast to the domesticated ones previously mentioned. This category would include dinosaurs like Behemoth (Job 40:15ff.). A tripartite classification of the animal kingdom is a common scriptural view (Gen. 7:14; Ps. 148:10). It is important to note that humanity never appears in any of these classifications. Humanity is not part of the animal world. (MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ge 1:24). Thomas Nelson Publishers.) * From the earliest descriptions of created creatures on this planet, it must be clearly specified that humans rank above all. We alone are made in God's image with particular worth and value. It is not to say that animals are of no value, but to state that humans are of supreme value on earth. Giving animals equal status therefore is in rebellion to God's view of humanity. There is no greater sign of rebellion of the created realm on this earth than the low view of humanity that is prevalent. Some even see viruses and diseases as cleansing excess population. Likewise, abortion, and euthanasia are seen as a simple choice or a mercy. As 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 states so clearly: 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So, glorify God in your body. (ESV) Genesis 1:25 now repeats verse 24, but with two significant changes. First, so that there would be no confusion, it states that God is the primary source and cause of the creation of the animal kingdom. The 'earth' of verse 24 is merely a secondary agent in the activity. Second, the three categories of the animal kingdom are recapitulated here but in a different sequence. The change of order, or chiasmus, is for the purpose of emphasizing the completion of the creative act. This is further accentuated by the statement: 'And God saw that it was good,' a clause that also reflects the idea of completion. Certainly, we must never worship nature as the pantheists do, but we worship the Creator of the material universe. He called his handiwork "good," and thus it represents his thought-so varied and beautiful and joyous. The God who created all this did it to form an environment for (His creation). And as his children we must understand that it hints at the depth of his care for us.( Hughes, R. K. (2004). Genesis: beginning and blessing (p. 35). Crossway Books.) In verse 26, we now come to the climax of God's creative activity: 'Then God said, "Let us make man". The credal statement in Deuteronomy 6:4 that God is one LORD affirms that there is only one absolute Being, but it does not mean that God is solitary, or a single person. In the plural word for God (Elohim) and the use of the first person plural forms 'us' and 'our', we have the first hint that God's being is much more profound than we imagined and that there is in God a plurality of persons. Other parts of Genesis will confirm this and point us forward to the New Testament's revelation of a Trinity within the unity of the Godhead. The significance of the creative act is brought to our attention in a number of ways. In the first place, this is the final activity of the week. When the jewel in the crown had been formed and put in place God finished His creative work. Secondly, more space is given over to describing the creation of human beings than anything else in the chapter (1:26-30).The creation of humanity here is unique in beginning with a picture of divine thought in process: 'Let us make ...' This plural cohortative with the best explanation of the trinitarian idea or plurality in the Godhead. Possibly the best solution is to understand the statement as a plural of self-deliberation. Here we see that God deliberates with himself. 'Let us make man.' In all previous cases the divine word expressed the divine will: 'God said, "Let there be ..." ', followed by the words of accomplishment: '... and it was so.' This is not the case here. It is as if we are being allowed to peep into God's secret council-chamber and to listen to him making decisions. In the previous acts of creation there was simple command. Now in approaching the pinnacle of creation there is consultation: This draws our attention to 'the dignity of our nature'. There is also reason behind our existence on this earth. That he was consulting with himself and not angels is suggested by the words of the prophet in Isaiah 40:13-14: "Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, Or as his counsellor has taught him? With whom did he take counsel, and who instructed him ...?. Although the Christian Trinity cannot be derived solely from the use of the plural (since the first audience could not have understood it in the sense of a trinitarian reference) a plurality within the unity of the Godhead may be derived from the passage (Mathews, K. A. (1996). Genesis 1-11:26 (Vol. 1A, pp. 162-163). Broadman & Holman Publishers.) God says that humans are also created 'after/according to our likeness'. The preposition 'after/according to' is helping to explain what it means to be 'in the image of' God. The term "likeness" is an assurance that humanity is an adequate and faithful representative of God on earth. The whole person is the image of God, without distinction of spirit and body. All humanity, without distinction, are the image of God.' Humans are created in the image (Hebrew ṣĕlĕm) of God. The word ṣĕlĕm originally meant 'something cut from an object'-for example, a piece of clay cut from a sculpture. In such a case there exists a concrete resemblance between the object and the image. In the Bible ṣĕlĕm also denotes a statue of himself that a king would erect to serve as a symbol of his sovereignty (e.g., Dan. 3). The fact that ṣĕlĕm is applied to humans at creation indicates that they are God's representatives on earth and have a character and being in keeping with that of the Deity. By virtue of having been created 'in the image of God', humanity receives the status of ruler of the earth under the sovereignty of God. They are given a privileged status over creation. That is why some commentators call the formation of humanity on the sixth day 'the crown of creation'. God's honouring of humanity in this way is distinct from other ancient Near-Eastern accounts of the purpose of the creation of human beings. In Mesopotamia, for example, the gods created humans simply to carry out labour for them. But for Humans created by God, they are living beings capable of embodying God's communicable attributes (cf. 9:6; Ro 8:29; Col 3:10; Jas 3:9). This includes a rational life, with the ability to reason and possessing intellect, will, and emotion. In the moral sense, (before the fall) humanity was created in God's image, like God being good and sinless (MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ge 1:26). Thomas Nelson Publishers.). Please turn to Ephesians 4 Being in the image of God is more than just a physical description of creation. It is very much tied to an explanation of what is means to be born again. Sin tarnishes the image of God in humanity. To be born again, means to renew the image and flee all that will tarnish the image. The Apostle Paul explains this distinction in Ephesians 4 Ephesians 4:17-32. 17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!- 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (ESV) * To Put on the new self (v.24) created after the likeness of God, is reflected in righteousness and holiness. But without purposeful direction in this, even the saints of God begin to talk as the Gentiles do in the futility of their minds. Want the clearest proof of this now, listen to all the covid talk even from the saints of God. It seems like it's all they read about and all they think about and all they want to talk about. Verse 18 is a warning to the saints: without care, even believers can become darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. If, v. 25, if we do not actively put away falsehood, and speak the truth of God with our neighbour, we become angry, hardened, and give an opportunity to the devil. We fail, v. 29 to build one another up in the faith, extend grace, v.31, become bitter, angry, and slander one another. For a believer to have unresolved conflict with another believer, then you have failed v.32 to be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Illustration: During the second world war, bombing campaigns occurred even on major cities. The effect even for the houses still standing, was catastrophic. Picture what happened as a three-story house that was bombed. The bomb had destroyed the top floor entirely, the debris of which had fallen down into the second floor, severely damaging it. The weight of the two ruined floors produced cracks in the walls of the first floor so that it was doomed to collapse eventually. Thus, it was with Adam. His body was the dwelling of the soul, and his spirit was above that. When he fell the spirit was entirely destroyed, the soul ruined, and the body destined to a final collapse. However, the glory of the gospel is seen at precisely this point, for when God saves a person he saves the whole person, beginning with the spirit, continuing with the soul, and finishing with the body. The salvation of the spirit comes first; for God first establishes contact with the one who has rebelled against him. This is regeneration, the new birth. Second, God works with the soul, renewing it after the image of the perfect man, the Lord Jesus Christ. This work is sanctification. Finally, there is the resurrection in which even the body is redeemed from destruction. Moreover, God makes a new creation, for he does not merely patch up the old spirit, soul, and body, as if the collapsing house were just being buttressed and given a new coat of paint. God creates a new spirit that is his own Spirit within the individual. He creates a new soul, known as the new man. At last, he creates a new body. This body is like the resurrection body of the Lord Jesus Christ through whom alone we have this salvation. (Donald Grey Barnhouseas recorded in Boice, J. M. (1998). Genesis: an expositional commentary (pp. 92-93). Baker Books.) God charges His created beings to a specific Dominion Mandate as seen through: 2) The Mission (Genesis 1:27-28) Genesis 1:27-28. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." (ESV) The fulfilment of the command of verse 26 is emphatically driven home here in verse 27. The point of this creation is further emphasized by the appearance of a direct object marker for 'man/mankind'. It is humanity, human beings only that are being formed here. The word 'created' has been used sparingly in this chapter (1:1, 21). In relation to human beings it appears three times in one verse (1:27). Here is something unique and special. Attempts to erase the distinction between male and female are against nature and are an affront to the wisdom of the Creator (Smith, J. E. (1993). The Pentateuch (2nd ed., p. 57). College Press Pub. Co.). * If there is ever a lesson for our age it is that the description here is the creation of humanity with one of two genders or sexes. Gender is not an ideological construct, but a creative act assigned at conception by the creator. People and even official government policy may believe that gender can be changed, but like all other definitions, it can only be properly defined by its creator. The significance of this creative act is also highlighted in the way God refers to himself. Notice how the text moves from the plural, 'in our own image, according to our likeness', in verse 26 to the singular in the verse 27: 'So God created man in his own image; in the image of God he created him' (1:27). Not only does God give us truth about himself when referring to the creation of humans, but this verse teaches that we are, in certain respects, like God. We are not gods, but there is something about us which (God shares qualities of Himself with us in creation). No distinction can be made in this passage between 'image' and 'likeness' (cf. 5:1; 9:6). The two words reinforce one another and convey the truth that, unlike any other earthly creature, man's whole make-up is a reminder of God. 'To be human is to bear the image of God.' While all creation bears witness to the being and glory of God (Ps. 19:1), humanity above everything else expresses God and represents God. We are living proof that God exists (cf. 5:1). The New Testament tells us that the incarnate Son of God, Jesus Christ, is the image of God (Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3) and some suggest that human beings were created like Christ, a copy of the true image. We find Ephesians 4:24 and Colossians 3:10 referring to God's image in moral and mental terms-righteousness, holiness and knowledge-items lost as a result of the Fall but belonging to the Christian's new nature. Nevertheless, all human beings, even in their fallen, unregenerate state, are still human and bear some resemblance to God, as is shown from Genesis 9:6 and James 3:9. Being created in the image of God, which was perfect in knowledge and righteousness, suffered irreparable destruction in the fall, and is delivered only through Christ's death and resurrection, whereby the image is being progressively transformed in the believer (2 Cor 3:18) until its state of perfection at the resurrection (Rom 8:29; 1 Cor 15:49; Col 3:9-10). Thus "the incarnate Son actualizes the perfection of the manhood which we have sinfully perverted. (P. E. Hughes, The True Image: The Origins and Destiny of Man in Christ (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989), p.13..) We also see that human kind, male and female, is according to God's likeness: 'God created man in his own image ... male and female he created them.' Political correctness prevents some these days from using the word 'man' as a general term for humanity. The Hebrew word adam is used in precisely the ways we have traditionally used the word 'man'. The primary meaning of adam, or 'man', is 'human being' or 'human race', without differentiating between the sexes. Such usage has nothing to do with sexist language or male domination, as some would have us believe. That God's Word does not encourage male superiority or female inferiority is made clear here. It was not considered necessary to mention gender in the case of the other living creatures, but it is an important element in reference to human beings. 'The man and the woman are images of God separately, and they are also the image of God together.' There is no place in God's good order for unisexuality or for any diminishing or confusion of sexual identity. Human sexuality in Genesis is a blessed function in the creative purposes of God, and it is essential for carrying out God's mandate for humanity (cf. 9:1, 7) (Mathews, K. A. (1996). Genesis 1-11:26 (Vol. 1A, pp. 173-174). Broadman & Holman Publishers.) God's command in verse 28 centres on five plural imperatives. The opening three imperatives, 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill ...', are the same ones used in verse 22 when God commanded the fish. Both humanity and fish are also 'blessed' by God. There are, however, two important distinctions between the two divine injunctions. First, in regard to the first humans, God speaks directly to them-'God said to them'-whereas he spoke only about the fish and not to them. This demonstrates a close personal relationship between God and humanity, which is solidified through the processes of thought and communication. It shows the uniqueness of humanity before the Creator. In God's actions here, to bless is to bestow not only a gift but a function. (cf. 1:22; 2:3 (Kidner, D. (1967). Genesis: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 1, p. 56). InterVarsity Press.) Second, the commands to 'subdue' and 'have dominion/rule' are only given to humanity. Only humans have been endowed with the status of royalty in and over the created order. Something of what it means for human beings to be in the image of God is indicated in the words that introduce the command to be fruitful. Though they are similar to the words of verse 22 ('God blessed them, saying ...'), there is this significant addition: 'and God said to them ...' (1:28). God addresses them personally. A personal relationship existed between God and these creatures. The God who already had personal relationships within his own being made humans in such a way that this fellowship might be extended to them. Man is dependent upon God for the blessings of life and sustenance; and man is accountable to God in the areas of service and obedience (Strassner, K. (2009). Opening up Genesis (p. 26). Day One Publications.) Another element in what it means for humans to be in God's likeness is spelled out in the blessing: 'Be fruitful and multiply; and fill the earth and subdue it' (1:28). Humans share part of the blessing with the other animals (1:22). Human kind is male and female and, along with the rest of the living creatures, is able to reproduce. Humanity, however, being in the image of God, has this amazing privilege of bringing into the world other beings who are in the image of God (cf. 5:3; 9:6; James 3:9). If humanity, male and female, is to rule over the creation, it will take both the male and female working together. This is obvious in the need for procreation. If men and women do not procreate, they will not be able to fill the earth and rule over it as God's representative. But humans, both male and female, must cooperate in other ways if they are to be good representatives of God. (Kissling, P. J. (2004-). Genesis (pp. 128-129). College Press Pub. Co.) Further in this mandate is to also 'subdue' which goes with the previous word, 'fill', and suggests taking over and controlling the whole earth. Later in the Pentateuch, 'subdue' is used to describes the subjugation of the land of Canaan (see Num. 32:22). Some in the past have taken these words as 'the colonist's charter'. Such language is frowned on today but it was God's original intention that people should reproduce, spread out and settle in the uninhabited places of the earth instead of remaining overcrowded in one area. "Subdue" does not suggest a wild and unruly condition for the creation because God Himself pronounced it "good." Rather, it speaks of a productive ordering of the earth and its inhabitants to yield its riches and accomplish God's purposes (MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ge 1:28). Thomas Nelson Publishers.). Please turn to Psalm 8 The additional element in the blessing, 'have dominion over ...', raises human beings, male and female, to the position of kings. They are supreme over the created order. The command to rule is given twice (1:26, 28), which emphasizes its importance. Human beings are called to be like the heavenly Ruler. They are God's representatives on earth. Such dominion does not mean selfishly exploiting the earth, but it does include caring for, and looking after, it (cf. 2:15). It was a common view in the ancient Near East that the king represented his god on earth and the king was described as bearing the god's image. Here we are taught that not only monarchs but all human beings have kingly functions in that they bear the image of the true God and are his viceroys on earth. This appointment by God gave the human family privilege but also responsibility as "caretakers" (2:15). The Hebrew love for life and the sacredness of all life assumed a linkage between human righteousness and the welfare of the earth (Mathews, K. A. (1996). Genesis 1-11:26 (Vol. 1A, pp. 174-175). Broadman & Holman Publishers.) Psalm 8 comments on the human status at creation and our responsibility: Psalm 8:1-9. TO THE CHOIRMASTER: ACCORDING TO THE GITTITH. A PSALM OF DAVID. 1 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. 2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. 3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? 5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, 7 all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, 8 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. 9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! (ESV) * Psalm 8 relating to Genesis 1 is a directive, which often has been called the 'cultural mandate'. This reflects the idea that being fruitful, multiplying and filling are not merely commands relating to human reproduction. Rather, they apply to all of life, including the socio-economic and spiritual realms, as well as to giving birth. The concepts of 'subduing' and 'ruling' support the interpretation of this verse as a world-and-life directive: that humans are to be overseers of the earthly kingdom. Though sin, Satan and death have endeavoured to frustrate this purpose, Psalm 8 is fulfilled through Christ, the coming of the Son of God into our world. He has stooped to undo the effects of sin and Satan by his atoning death, so that all who belong to Jesus Christ can reign in and with him (Heb. 2:9-10; Rev. 5:10). Illustration: The Naval Officer Matthew Maury served as a U.S. naval officer before suffering an injury which forced his retirement. He was then placed in charge of the Depot of Charts and Instruments of the Hydrographic Office of the Navy from 1841 to 1861. He was a Christian who loved the Word of God. One day, reading Psalm 8, he was struck by an important truth in the 8th verse. There he read that God had given man dominion over "the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas." He immediately saw the great practical significance of that verse, recognizing that there must be currents of water in the oceans, just like vast rivers, as well as in the atmosphere (Ecclesiastes 1:6). Maury, with confidence in the accuracy of the Bible, determined to discover the paths in the seas and the wind circuits, utilizing the charts and log books he had at his disposal. He did discover and plot many of the wind circuits and currents, such as the great Gulf Current, 40 miles wide and 2,000 feet deep that comes out of the Gulf of Mexico into the Atlantic; the Japanese Current, the California Current, and others. Utilizing this information, the sailing ships of his day plied these currents and wind circuits, reducing by as much as three weeks, the time required to cross some oceans. On a monument erected by the state of Virginia to his memory is found a plaque that reads as follows: "Matthew Fontaine Maury, Pathfinder of the Seas, the genius who first snatched from the oceans and atmosphere the secret of their laws. His inspiration, Holy Writ, Psalm 8:8, Ecclesiastes 1:6." A genius? No. Just a simple Bible-believing Christian who trusted the inerrancy of the Word of God. - (DTG. Our Daily Bread, September 14, 1987). Finally, God charges His created beings to a specific Dominion Mandate as seen through: 3) The Means (Genesis 1:29-31) Genesis 1:29-31. 29 And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. (ESV) God provides nourishment for humanity in verse 29 in the form of vegetables (plant) and trees producing fruits. This act contrasts strongly with the Mesopotamian view of the origin of the universe, according to which man was created in order to supply food for the gods. The Hebrew God is transcendent and in need of no physical sustenance. The granting of food to people is stated in a positive manner. There is no direct prohibition proclaiming what they may not eat. Thus, there is no formal declaration saying that humanity should not eat meat. However, this may be inferred from the text. Humans are granted meat-eating rights only after the Fall in Genesis 9:3. These verses of Genesis are an embarrassment to those who believe that God used evolution to make creatures (the theistic evolutionary view). Nature red in tooth and claw is not the original picture. Also, it is only after the Fall that we hear of man's use of animals for clothing, sacrifice and food (3:21; 4:2-4; 9:3). God here is depicted as the beneficent Provider, who insures food for both man and animal life without fear of competition or threat for survival (cf. 9:2-5) (Mathews, K. A. (1996). Genesis 1-11:26 (Vol. 1A, p. 175). Broadman & Holman Publishers.) Please turn to Isaiah 65 Apparently, we see in verse 30, the animal kingdom is to be herbivorous and not carnivorous. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so. All three of these types of animals are said to have "the breath of life" in them. The Hebrew phrase for this expression is literally translated "a soul of life." This does not mean that animals have "souls" and will therefore be in heaven (Kissling, P. J. (2004-). Genesis (p. 132). College Press Pub. Co.) The prophet Isaiah foresees a new heaven and a new earth existing in perfect harmony to which our Dominion mandate points. In Isaiah 65 God says: Isaiah 65:17-25. 17 "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. 18 But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness. 19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people; no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress. 20 No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days, for the young man shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed. 21 They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 22 They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They shall not labor in vain or bear children for calamity, for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the LORD, and their descendants with them. 24 Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear. 25 The wolf and the lamb shall graze together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain," says the LORD. (ESV) * Ultimate blessing to God's people comes in the consummation (2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1). The new creation has come in its beginnings already in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). Things now do wither and fade, yet believers look forward to a new heaven and a new earth existing in perfect harmony to which our Dominion mandate points. The present faithfulness in exercising this dominion mandate is likened to that of a righteous person who is "like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit" (Ps. 1:3). We can do this in confidence knowing that God's redemptive purpose (Gen. 3:15) will succeeded, and as He will subdue the serpent in judgment as He promised. (Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1359-60). Crossway Bibles). Finally, in verse 31, God now surveys 'all' His work-that is, the totality of the physical creation. It is when humanity has been created that we are told of God's profound satisfaction with all that He had made: 'Then God saw everything that he had made, and behold/indeed it was very good' (1:31). This is the seventh occurrence of the word 'good', to which the adverb 'very' is now added. The word translated 'behold/indeed' suggests a degree of excitement and enthusiasm. The term 'Behold ...' (Hebrew hĭnnēh) often serves to call special attention to a declarative statement. And when the word for 'very' (Hebrew meōd) occurs after an adjective it is an absolute superlative. Therefore, the writer is describing God's judgement of His own creation with great emphasis-it is perfect in every detail, even down to the very intricacies of its being. The harmony and perfection of the completed heavens and earth express more adequately the character of their creator than any of the separate components can. (Wenham, G. J. (1987). Genesis 1-15 (Vol. 1, p. 34). Word, Incorporated.) * God doesn't do the best he can and leave us to figure the rest out. He doesn't make mistakes and there is clear intent in what he does. We have no right to either change or eliminate what God has created and pronounced as good. Practices of abortion, euthanasia, outward sex change or a myriad of other aberrations are in direct contravention to God's good creation and sustaining of people. What we find back in Genesis 1:29 in the way in which the numbering of this day is announced is unique among the six days of creation. In the case of days two to five the same formula is used on each occasion-'a second day', a 'third day', etc. For the day when human beings were created the Hebrew uses the definite article, 'the sixth day'. We have now reached the high point of God's creative activity. This slight change also prepares for the final day, which also uses the same phraseology-'the seventh day'. In the introduction to a series of sermons Martin Luther wrote on the creation of the world, he made this observation: "When Moses writes that God created heaven and earth in six days, let his words stand.... If, however, you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then give the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are."(Martin Luther as quoted in Jeske, J. C. (2001). Genesis (2nd ed., p. 28). Northwestern Pub. House.) Format note: Some base commentary from Currid, J. D. (n.d.). A Study Commentary on Genesis: Genesis 1:1-25:18 (Vol. 1, pp. 83-90). Evangelical Press. And Eveson, P. H. (2001). The Book of Origins: Genesis Simply Explained (pp. 39-47). Evangelical Press.) Closing Hymn: "Fairest Lord Jesus" (3 Verses) 075 Benediction And now let all those who rule under the dominion of our Lord, declare His gracious name, With one accord, So that all nations will fear the name of the LORD, until the whole universe bow before Christ as Lord. In His Royal, Sovereign name we Pray. Amen.