Posts Tagged ‘Garden of Eden’

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 moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:28

 Our Assignment
The word subdue in Hebrew is kabash and it means to subject to force, dominate, keep under control, and/or to bring into bondage. At first glance it does not seem to make sense; this is after all the Garden of Eden where we first hear this message. God tells us that we have dominion over every living thing, but when we hear ‘subdue the earth’ we might find ourselves asking,
Subdue the earth from what?
The Wrong Question

How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12) 

We should be asking from whom, not from what. The assignment is to subdue the earth from satan. When we read the account of creation in Genesis, we soon come to realize that somewhere in time, perhaps between verse one and verse two, satan was cast out of Heaven. We know satan is not in Heaven because he is going to make an appearance before Eve in the Garden. Furthermore, Jesus tells us in John 12:31 that satan is the ruler of this world. That truth is repeated in this passage from Luke 4:6-8:

And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ’You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’

Satan could not have offered to Jesus authority over the world unless he had it given to Him by God. We also notice that Jesus did not say to satan, “You have no authority to give me the earth.”

How To Subdue

All things considered, subduction (which is an applicable geological term) is an easy commission when you think about it: be fruitful and multiply! However, I submit to you (because not all are able) that this verse does not merely pertain to procreation.

Let’s go back to the opening  Bible verse (I actually prefer the King James version of this passage, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish,” because it includes a third function: replenishment). Suddenly, it is not just about making babies, but making Christian disciples; i.e., leading people to Christ Jesus for His glory and good purposes.

Hear the reality: our assignment has never changed! If we are not actively subduing (or preparing to actively subdue), then in our idleness satan is increasing his territory upon the backs of lost souls.

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8

We need not subject ourselves to hand-to-hand combat with the enemy. The battle is spiritual and is fought as souls are won to Christ. Our assignment is a work that God will do through those saints who are submitted to His good and perfect will. The question that remains is, “Are you a submitted follower of Christ?”

  1. What do these verses say about God?
  2. What do they say about you?
  3. What things might we need to address?

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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

Creation Groans

You know, when Adam dropped a bomb in the Garden of Eden, mankind was not the only one to suffer–all creation was adversely affected as well. As a result, both man and creation groan in anticipation of Christ’s return and the glorious restoration He will bring to those who have believed. Does this suggest that all created things (not human) both believe and hope in His return? You got me. Some things are beyond my imagination. All I know is that creation has an intense expectation for that day and when it arrives it should be a very cool sight in deed.

“For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills Shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12

Man Groans

In the second verse where Paul refers to creation being subjected to futility, he is referring to mankind—the Kings James Version renders a proper translation when it uses the word creature rather than creation. What is Paul attempting to say? Pretty much the same thing Pascal said almost 1500 years later, “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”

The Apostle would add, “And God put it there.”

Why Would God Put a Void in Us?

I believe it all comes back to the issue of choice. Our Father could have inserted a preset, mechanized sort of attachment towards Himself, but He didn’t. God desired that His creation would, after realizing the extent of His persistent love, would fancy Him over all things worldly. He then gave us a mind (a soul) to decide whether or not we would fill that void with carnal (fleshly) things or things Spiritual. He then gave us examples to follow after like Solomon. Remember what he said?

Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 1:2-15

We would recall that Solomon tried everything the planet had to offer—and in tremendous overindulgence. After amassing thousands of sexual partners, gazillions of dollars, abundant knowledge, and partaking of the ultimate party lifestyle, he came to the conclusion it was all vanity; all emptiness; all without worth or merit. In all his wealth, Solomon groaned.

I would have to say that’s my testimony too. Oh, I came nowhere near accomplishing what Solomon had, but I did come to the same conclusion—it was all a waste of time. In fact what the world had to offer was never enough—the void God created in me could not be filled by it. Somehow it all leaked out, evaporated, or wouldn’t fit to begin with. Eventually I discovered what both Paul and Pascal had—only God can permanently fill in the blanks of a man’s life.

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