Blessing from God
Genesis 1:26–31 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.
Finally we see in this text the rather obvious piece which often goes unnoticed—this rule the humans have is theirs simply because it is a gift from God. God has bestowed his image upon humans (v. 26) which gives them this responsibility and God has blessed them (v. 28). Verses 29-30 further explore God’s blessing on humans. He gives humans every plant and tree and seed. It is his creation that he has given humans rule over. Therefore, as we’ve already seen this week, humans don’t have unbridled reign. Their reign is to be under the authority of God himself.
There are some key distinctions here in the creation account of Genesis when compared to other Ancient Near East creation myths. In other myths it is usually only the king who is like the gods or a god himself. Here it is all humans. In other myths the humans are required to produce food and resources from the land. Here it is a blessing from God.
This is the concept that distinguishes the Christian form of culture-making from every other form of culture-making. The Christian’s role is to order the raw materials of creation for human flourishing as God defines it. The “as God defines it” part is loaded with implications. The buddhist, the Muslim, the secularist would all come to very different conclusions as to what constitutes human flourishing. The Christian mandate is to spread God’s desired culture his way. This we will explore further when we come to Jesus later in this campaign.
This idea of our status and rule being from God is what leads us to worship. Since the humans responsibility to rule is a gift from God, worship is the only proper response. As we will see in this series God always tells us how he wants to be worshipped. Here in the garden his imperatives are the creation mandate so this is how God wants the first humans to worship him in the garden. As we saw in 2:15 on Monday the humans responsibility in the garden is full or worship language.
So what we see here in the garden is this broader concept of worship. Worship in it’s purest state. Humans worshipping God in everything they do to create culture.
Over the next few weeks we will explore how worship has changed and how God is working to restore it to this original form.
I’ve included here a short portion of an interview I did with the Reverend Dr. Keven Huddleston from St. John the Divine here in Burlington. We were talking about liturgical forms of worship and how they give him a broader sense of worship. Here he talks about how he takes the liturgical practices of Sunday, particularly communion, into the rest of his week.
ff to 4:30 for the beginning of the interview.
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