Genesis chapter one explains that in the beginning God gave dominion to man.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” Gen 1:26-28 (RSV)
God gave man dominion to rule over all the earth after the likeness and in the image of God. Man was created to rule over the earth with the same authority that God rules over all things. Man was literally given the lordship to be the Lord of the earth. Unfortunately, Adam and Eve squandered their dominion when they broke God’s commands, effectively handing over their God-given dominion to the serpent.
The Hebrew word used in this verse is radah, which literally means to rule, to have dominion, to dominate, to prevail or to tread down. To have dominion as God has dominion and to be after his likeness means that we are to operate the same way he operates. He is our daddy and we are members of his family. We are designed to be like Him! Granted we are a work in progress and He is way ahead of us, but everyone who has been born of His Holy Spirit, born again as Jesus commanded, has the same spiritual DNA as the great God, Jehovah!
This truth changes everything. We are not victims, we are exactly what the Apostle Paul said we are, more than conquerers. We have been given dominion to rule and reign over every trial and tribulation that comes our way. We have been given everything we need pertaining to life, we just have to start exercising our dominion in the same way as God our father exercises His dominion.
In Genesis 1 we see how God spoke the world into existence. We operate the same way! We also speak things into existence because we are like Him, in the same family, operating the same way.
After the fall of Adam and Eve, Satan became the Lord of the earth. The bible calls him the god of this world even though he is not a god but an angel who has illegally stolen the position of God from man. The devil was not created in the image of God and was never given dominion to rule as God with the likeness of God. The devil has deceived us into believing that we are not gods in the image and likeness of God even though the bible says God created us as that.
Just as God the father has the power to bless and curse we also have the power to bless and curse. We can speak words of life, which create life, or we can speak words of death, which create death. As the Scriptures say, the power of life and death is in our tongue.
This is not a new idea. The Jewish patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, understood that God had given man the power to bless or to curse, to speak life or death. They laid hands on their children and blessed them because they understood these things.
After God gave dominion to Adam and Eve, He instructed them to be fruitful and multiply. When He did that, He gave them the power to bring forth new life in the earth. So they not only had dominion to rule over the earth but also the power to produce new life. This is truly remarkable power that God gave them, and through them to all who came after them.
Today people have come up with the idea that only God can give life so therefore all newborn babies are born because God gave them birth. Based on this idea, people say that every person ever born is born by the will of God. This is not scriptural. Jesus made it clear in the Lord’s prayer that the will of God is not always done in the earth. That is why He taught us to pray that God’s will would be done in the earth, as it is done in heaven.
So God took a big risk by giving dominion to us. We can use our dominion to do the will of God in the earth, or we can use it to do our own will, which might be completely different from what God wants us to do. God knew the risks that were involved, but he chose to take that risk. He gave dominion and the power of reproducing human life to man and he has never taken these things back. They belong to man, legally and rightfully.
It is clear from looking at the earth that man has reproduced life at times and places where it was clearly not good or right. When a fifteen-year old girl sneaks out at night to have sex with her boyfriend and she comes home pregnant, out of wedlock, that boy and girl exercised their God-given power to multiply but that does not mean they did the will of God. Many babies are born by the will of man even when it is not the will of God. People have exercised their dominion to do many things that were not pleasing to God. Then to make it even worse, God often gets blamed for the messes we have made.
God gives each of us the liberty to exercise our dominion. If we misuse and abuse the power He gave us then we are the ones that suffer the consequences of our own mistakes. This is an awesome responsibility. We should be careful to use our dominion wisely!
Author: James Bailey
James Bailey writes articles explaining the word of God and how the scriptures relate to daily life. His life mission is to broadcast the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ through a variety of media outlets.
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