Genesis 9:6-7 (ESV) -- “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image. And you, be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it.”
We live in a world that treats power as a negative thing. Power in the wrong hands can certainly be a bad thing. People abuse power for selfish gain. Some use power to hurt others and demonstrate their unworthiness to possess that power. But power itself is not bad.
In fact, God gave mankind power over His creation. He purposefully designed man and gave us the task of ruling over the creation. We have been given dominion. This isn’t a bad thing at all. It is God-given. It is only what we do with this power that determines whether or not we are being faithful.
Our passage today reminds us of the divine mandate God gave human beings. We are made in His image. We are unique from all the other created things in God’s universe. God commanded the first people—and it is still a standing mandate—to be fruitful and multiply. We are to multiply the number of image bearers in the world. We are to have children, and our children are to do the same. God wants people to multiply in the earth.
What are we to do as we multiply in the earth? We are to take all the resources God has provided in the creation and cultivate it in such a way that not only provides for our needs, but glorifies the One we are made in the image of. We start businesses, construct buildings, develop new technology, plant crops, raise cattle, and build turbine engines. Cultivating the world we live in is not only an endeavor humans embark on to live in more comfort, but it is a direct command from God to obey. This instructs us that God doesn’t assign negative value to power. He has given us power. Human beings have power over the creation. We are to use that power to cultivate the earth and to glorify God. This divine mandate is fulfilled in our raising families, working a job, and participating in the establishment of culture in the world. Live it out today.
Reflection & Journal
Why do Christians not talk much about the divine mandate as part of our understanding about our purpose as humans?
What are some different ways we participate in the divine mandate?
Why do you think God created us this way and for this task? How is it a reflection of Him?