Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The World Was Created to Respond to Us

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-27)
God created us in His image and likeness — to be like Him — and so that we could exercise dominion over the earth and everything in it, to be stewards of His creation on in accordance with His purposes. The command He gave to Adam and Eve was to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth and subdue it. To subdue the earth means to bring it into order. God created us to be like Him so that we could bring all the earth into line with who He is and what He is like. In other words, the earth was created to be responsive to us.

We know, of course, that Adam and Eve rebelled against God, and in so doing, disconnected from the life, and even the order, of God. Chaos followed, not only for man, but also for creation. That is how close the relationship is between man and the earth. Man was formed of the dust of the ground, and when Adam sinned, the ground came under a curse.
Then to Adam He [God] said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it':

Cursed is the ground for your sake [because of you];
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.
In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return."
(Genesis 3:17-19)
We know also that God had a plan or redemption, to restore us to Himself. That's why Jesus came. This redemption is not for us only, but also for all creation:
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. (Romans 8:19-22)
Just as all creation was affected by the fall of man in Adam, it is also influenced by the restoration of man in Jesus Christ, because the world was created to respond to mankind. When we walk in rebellion, the earth responds in kind. But if we will walk in faithful obedience to God and His Word, the earth will respond to that obedience. Indeed, the world was created to respond to the Word of God, as well as to us, because it was framed by the Word of God. When we are lined up with that Word in all we say and do, how much greater will be creation's response to it.