Humanity's Dominion over the Earth

Pastor Jeff Struecker

Last week, we looked at how special and how different humans are because there’s a phrase that has been used for many centuries that separates humans from all of the rest of creation. It’s the phrase, “the image of God” and what we learned last week is that phrase is like a mirror that we are supposed to reflect God’s nature and His character by who we are and the way that we live.

Today, we’re going to talk about humans’ dominion or our rule, when you hear the word dominion, I want you to think about authority or their rule over all of the earth.

If this thing doesn’t mean anything to you, we are going to pick up right where we left off in Genesis 1:26. Because right when the Bible describes human beings in the first place, it also tells us that we were made in the image of God, and He has given us dominion or He’s given us the earth to rule over.

Today is February 2 and February 2 in the United States is Groundhog day so we’re going to do the exact same verse two weeks in a row. Not because it’s Groundhog Day, but because I want you to focus on the second half of this verse.

Last week, I asked you to memorize the first part of this verse. Now, we’re going to talk about the second half of Genesis 1:26. Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, the whole earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.“ The Bible takes great effort to describe how much of the earth humans are supposed to rule over.

Memory Verse

Listen, God created everything that you see around us, which means he owns it. It’s His. He made it and He can do whatever he wants with it. Then, He created the crown jewel when He created humans and He put us on earth and He said, I want you to act like me. I want you to reflect me like a mirror reflects me. I want you to bear my image everywhere that you go on earth.

In the exact same verse, just the second sentence of the verse, he tells us how wide and how big that rule is supposed to be. “Hey, humans, I want you to rule over the stuff that flies in the skies, you call them birds. I want you to rule over the stuff that swims in the sea, you call it fish. I want you to rule over all of the animals. Even the little creatures that creep on four or eight legs on the ground, you would call them animals or even insects. I want you to rule over all of it.”

Why does the Bible use that kind of language? Why doesn’t it just say the whole earth? Because I think the Bible is driving a point home as a human. God has created you in His image and God has given you His authority to take care of the birds that fly in the sky. And He wants you as a human to take care of the fish that swim in the seas. He wants you to care for all of the animals, even the insects on the earth.

That’s the responsibility that God gave when He gave humans dominion or authority or rule over the earth. There is a video from Billy Graham’s organization that described the responsibility that goes along with being a human and ruling over the earth that God created.

The video was designed to spark your heart a little bit to say, you know what I need to take care of this earth that I’m on, not because, I’m not a tree hugger. I’m not the kind of person that wants to try to save the environment so that the environment will last for a billion years.
I’m just taking care of this world that I live in because God told me I’m supposed to take care of it.

And in order to help you drive this home, I’m going to put a challenge for you, would you talk about this challenge?

A Challenge

How does protecting our planet honor God?

How does, you, protecting the environment make any difference to God in heaven?

I want you to think about this question. Let it roll around at the back of your mind. I want you to not just think about it, but I want you to answer this question.