“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)
“Come, let us bow down in worship; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” (Psalm 95:6)
My eye was caught this week by an online news story headed “Seventeen species that we’ll never see again.” The article estimates that, in addition, 20% of the animals on our planet are currently in danger of extinction. The authors pinpoint the direct cause as human interventions. Our English translations of Genesis 1:26,28 speak of God allowing humankind to “rule” over the earth. The Hebrew word used is radah: a word better understood and translated as “manage the earth” rather than “rule the earth.” It is a word that simply does not include any notion of self-interest, harshness, violence or forced dominance. It is a word of partnership, of mutuality, of co-operation, of care. Similarly, Genesis 1:28 records God’s mandate to “fill the earth and subdue it.” The word for ‘subdue’ is kavash: a word that envisions order, control and balance. It’s a word of construction, not destruction. For millennia Humankind has been shaping and making the earth to suit ourselves.
Yet, we rule rather than manage and we bring imbalance rather than balance. “Come, let us bow down in worship; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker,” says the psalmist. I wonder what our Maker and Creator makes of our handiwork? Our worship as we kneel before Him must seem a hollow sham, an insult added to injury, a perversion of the commission we were given. Creation Care is surely an obligation rather than an option for us. “Come…let us kneel before the Lord our Maker,” as those who are new creations in Christ and who have managed His Creation well. Let us live as makers in the image of our Maker, as creators in the image of our Creator, as those who bring order and balance to everything we do.