God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
God’s gives humanity a job to do. He commissions them to take charge of the world He took great delight in making. They are called to settle and establish themselves, and to explore the great unknowns of the new creation. There’s no indicator of how the jobs will be divided. In fact there’s no indicator that the jobs will be divided at all. It’s a joint call and partnership to live life to the full. A few reflections:
A call to a productive life. It seems that God doesn’t offer women (or men for that matter) life as distant spectators. Words like ‘subdue’, ‘fill’, ‘rule’, reflect an action packed call to engagement and involvement with our world. We may be settled in our space, but what about the world beyond our homes? Where can we get engaged and involved in the issues of the world, reflecting His values? It could be in serving the needs of the disadvantaged in our cities. It could be learning more about issues that affect people every day, issues of global trade, human trafficking, the environment.
A call to be fruitful – Reproduce yourself. We might understand that on one level “be fruitful and increase in number” refers to having children. Yet many key figures in the Bible lived fruitful productive lives without having children – Jesus being the ultimate example. I’d like to contend that these terms have implications for all of us regardless of our stage of life. What has God put in us that we are investing into others? Are we mentoring anyone, sharing our faith with anyone? Perhaps we’re sharing your skills to benefit our communities, or to equip work colleagues. Or maybe this verse is a fresh reminder to some of us that the children we have are our calling, and we’re to invest in them, share our faith with them, be engaged and involved with them.To be made in God’s image means we are no afterthought, but at part of his magnificent design. It means we have his potential in us, and his purposes waiting for us. There are a few more reflections from the early chapters of Genesis to explore.
In another post.