I just love picking up the Bible and reading for no apparent reason. Today (at posting time – a few weeks ago.) I just wanted to refresh myself in the first chapter of the Bible. Guess what caught my eye? Genesis 1:28,29,30 ! “to you it shall be for meat”
28) And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29) And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
30) And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat; and it was so.
Me, I like to see what it does not say. You got it, when I read, sometimes I read to see what is not said. So, what does it not say? Well, it does say man would have dominion (vs. 26) over the things of the sea and the beast and things that creepeth, even the fowl. These are the questions I asked myself. What does dominion mean? Did the ‘man’ have true meat? [Note to self this is going to have to be another post.]
Let us look at the word “dominion.” My handy-dandy American Heritage Dictionary says, “control or exercise of control”. So, what does “dominion” not mean? Sometimes understanding what a word does not mean is more important than what it could mean. Does it mean “rule”? Yes. Does it mean be aggressive? No. Does it mean to abuse? No. Does it mean to govern? Yes.
Let us journey further into the Book of Genesis, Chapter 2 explains man’s role in the Garden of Eden. The first part of the chapter lets us know that the trees and all the green things grew because of the Lord, not because of man. Verse 5 plainly states “ … for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. ” As we get to verse 15, we read, “ And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. ” So far, I have not read anything that suggests that “dominion” has an abusive meaning. Then as we get a tad bit further into the chapter, we read that Adam was the one allowed to give the beast of the earth their names. So that does not mean he was allowed to say what they could or could not do. No, his right to “dominion” was to simply name them. It is after chapter 3 starts that things change. We all know what happens. Thus, we can expect the meaning of “dominion” to change somewhat. But by whom?
[A little side note, I wanted this post to be a tad funny but….. my “Lord give me the words and let the Spirit guide my fingers” said, “later”.]
Back to the changing of the word. When we first read the word it is apparent, at least to me, that it means to “keep an eye on” or to “be a steward to”. I picture that original garden as a show place, not a garden to feed many, nor a garden for profit. By saying to “dress it and to keep it,” we come to understand this simple fact. The Lord did not tell man to multiply it as he did when he sent them out of the Garden.
Let us look at Matthew 20
25) But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
26) But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
Let us look at Leviticus 25:43
“Thou shalt not rule over him with rigour; but shalt fear thy God.”
This verse is giving instruct to what one should do for his poor brother. Notice it uses the word “rigour.” We see that the Lord does allow “ruling over,” but He is reiterating all throughout the Bible that it is more of a “stewardship”. Matthew uses the word “minister” and Leviticus says to not use “rigour.”
Then in Matthew we see hierarchy. We have princes that are over the people, but we have those that are great over the princes. Then he specifically says that this is not to be for us. He is letting us understand that the ones whom have power or prestige should be a minister to those that do not.
This is a type of government. When a group of people elect someone, we elect them to have a Genesis “dominion” over us. They are to be the ones we choose to “dress it and to keep” (our laws). The elected should be as one in Matthew. They are chosen to minister to us. In Leviticus 25:36 says, “Take thou no usury of him, or increase.” [The “him” is your brother or country man.] For my sanity, I will say no more on this track, even though that little voice is saying to continue. Study and pray for your personal guidance about whom you vote for. And for what you should expect of those persons.]
Genesis 1: 30
And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat; and it was so.
Whew, now that I was led to give you the above let me tell you what I, (me, myself, and I) without guidance, wanted to say about the verses Genesis 1:30. This snippety-holier-than-thou chick caught that part about the ‟I have given every green herb for meat; and it was so. ”
Why would this catch my eye? Well, I suffer from chronic pain and I have finally accepted the fact that inflammation causes pain! Not just in our gut, but our spine. Who would have thought it? Not me. I will do another post of the “for meat”, maybe it will help us understand our bodies or even what we should consider as we buy our groceries.
Just to lighten things up, the above was what my post was supposed to be about. But when we let the Lord and Spirit into our thoughts, they will have a tendency to redirect us.
My prayer for this post is:
Lord help us understand the word “Dominion”, and how it should guide us with our actions. My prayer is that we, children of God, never try to have the ‘world’s view’ of dominion over our fellow brothers nor over the children of the world. That we learn to be better ministers. How when we exert dominion over our families, pets, and fellow employees we understand to use our hand as the Lord would have us. If we are in a leadership role we understand to be stewards, not dictators. Lord help us remember that we should seek Your guidance with all we do.