Designed for Dominion
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.” 27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. —Genesis 1:26-27
Hebrews 2:8 quotes Psalms 8 to give us an important reminder of God’s plan for man in the created order: “Putting everything in subjection under his feet.” This was God’s original design. Genesis 1:26 says, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion.”
Notice the phrase,“Let them have dominion.” Did you know we were created to rule over all God created? Some people think natural, untouched-by-humans creation is the ideal state. That’s incorrect. Other people believe you can just steamroll over everything in creation. That’s incorrect, too. We were designed to steward creation, but all of this was lost in the Fall. When our first ancestors sinned, the design went off the rails. Ever since, Paul says, “The whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now”(Romans 8:22). God intended for us to use creation and rule (have dominion) over it. We were not to misuse it or to abuse it, but to steward it for future generations. All of that to say: the day is coming when we’ll carry out our role perfectly. Dominion will be restored. Jesus demonstrated what dominion looks like, and we’re going to have that privilege again. Revelation 20 talks about us ruling over creation with Jesus Christ. We’re going to reign with Jesus Christ. And everything’s going to be as it was created to be.
But first, we need a dose of reality and humility. We had the opportunity for dominion, but sin has distorted our role. “At present we do not see everything in subjection to him” (Hebrews 2:8). Is everything in subjection to us now? Not at all. That’s the whole process of humility. Life is in the process of showing us everything is not in subjection to us. Finances don’t work right, the created order doesn’t work right, and my own body doesn’t even work right. But someday sin is going to be taken out of the picture and everything will work the way it was supposed to work. If you are in Christ and one of His own and living for Him and His glory, this humility will lead to that exaltation.
Father, I see so many examples of ways people try to practice dominion but manage to make things worse. And I see glimpses here and there of how it could be. You gave directions to Your people to steward the Promised Land even though the full effects would be limited by the Fall. Lord, help me to be attentive to my current limited role and continue to learn to be a better steward of that which You have entrusted to me. Teach me the humility of wise living in creation during this time in Your plan. In Jesus’ name, Amen.