Proverbs 27:17

Proverbs 27:17

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Genesis 1:28 (Daily Verse and Comment)

  Genesis 1:28

(28) 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." 
New King James Version   Change your email Bible version

A basic purpose for marriage is also found in this verse. The two key words here are "subdue" and "dominion," both of which are terms of command and control. This purpose, then, deals with marriage providing a basis for proper government.

"Dominion" has thrown many people off-track, assuming God means autocratic, despotic rule. However, any dictionary will show that dominion is nothing more than "supreme authority" or "sovereignty." The Hebrew word, radâ, implies exercising authority over those under one's control, whether a king over his kingdom or an employer over his employees. It does not necessarily suggest harsh, cruel governance.

"Subdue" (Hebrew kabaš), however, can have this implication. Nevertheless, subjecting creation to human benefit or people to God's way does not have to be done with rigor. Severity should be applied only when there is steadfast, defiant resistance, and then only as necessary. The two words together provide a wide range of means for mankind to order and govern what God has given him. Of course, God does not intend for humanity to go beyond the authority He has entrusted to it, either in terms of scope or application.

So, as these opening instructions to humanity indicate, God uses marriage to teach us how to govern. Marriage teaches us how it is done best, specifically as God Himself governs. God is a Father, and He has a Son who is the Head of the church. We in the church comprise the Son's wife, His Bride, and we are learning how to rule with the Son forever in His Kingdom. A primary institution that God created to teach us this is marriage, the very same institution into which we will soon enter with His Son. Again, we see the physical blending into the spiritual.

In our physical lives, most of us begin to live within the family as a child, and from that position of weakness and immaturity, we learn how to be ruled, to submit, and to learn and grow as a subordinate. We learn what it is like to be under authority. Later, as we grow in maturity, we take on more responsibilities and experience more freedom. If we are alert and smart, we learn many facets of how to rule ourselves and thus how to govern others.

When ready, we take up the challenge of living at the next level of authority as a husband or wife. In that role, we learn other things that teach us about government and how best to handle situations. First, we must become accustomed to living with our new mate, ruling ourselves, and providing direction to a developing family as a spouse.

Then, sometimes suddenly, we must learn how to govern little ones. As they grow, we learn different ways—better ways—to govern them at their various levels. The diverse situations that arise in life lend themselves to learning new and different approaches that will lead to better outcomes. The family and our changing roles within it teach us how to do that.

The godly family, beginning with marriage followed by the rearing of children, teaches us how to govern. Along with the Bible, it gives us most, if not all, the necessary instruction that we need. These experiences over time become part of our character, which we will carry through the grave. We will have those experiences to draw on when similar instances arise among those subject to us in God's Kingdom.

These essential tools, provided to us through God's instruction and applied in the Christian family, prepare us to rule in God's Kingdom and to teach the right and proper way to live.

— Richard T. Ritenbaugh

No comments:

Post a Comment