“Let them have dominion over the earth.” Man and woman were to have management over the earth, to exercise guardianship. This is the first declaration of the purpose of God.
God’s ultimate intention is: “Truly I live; all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.” (Numbers 14:21. See also Isaiah 11:9; Ezekiel 37:28; 38:23). God intends the earth to be inhabited by people who reflect His glory. (Isaiah 26:9; Psalm 37:9,11) He planned for Adam and Eve to bring this purpose about. However, Adam and Eve failed to keep the dominion over the animals and over the earth (as we will see next lesson).
Who then would achieve this? Who would bring the world into harmony with God?
Jesus Christ, as Son of Man will take control over Creation. “Thou made him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet” (Psalm 8:6). Adam and Eve followed the voice of the serpent, instead of obeying the law of God. Jesus Christ will take dominion (political control) when he returns – “there was given him (Christ) dominion and glory and a kingdom that ALL… should serve him; his dominion is everlasting..” (Daniel 7:14, read also verses 12,27)
|First man Adam –||In Genesis|
|Last man Adam –||Lord Jesus Christ|
The New Testament expands on the teaching of Psalm 8. (Hebrews 2:6-10)
Moral teaching of “dominion”
We must exercise self control and not permit sin to dominate our life. (Romans 6:12,14) “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that takes a city”. (Proverbs 16:32) ”he that overcometh, and keeps my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations and he shall rule them…” (Revelation 2:26,27)
The creation is now at an end. God and His angels rest from creative work. (Genesis 2:1-3)
* Note: Alfred Norris’s book, “What Is His Name? – a Biblical Study of Divine Titles,” explains that ‘elohim’ is treated as a plural of ‘eloah’ when it is used of heathen gods; but as a singular word when used of the True God.
Next lesson: Adam and Eve – how sin and death came; and God promised a Redeemer.