"DOMINION OVER THE EARTH"
I. "AND GOD BLESSED THEM."
A. After God created man, the first thing that we read is that God blessed them.
1. You need to know that God wants to bless you and He delights in blessing His children.
a. I know how I love to bless my children and my grandchildren and now my great grandchild, with the second on the way.
b. One of the greatest delights of my life is being able to bless my children.
c. Jesus said:
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
2. The prophet told Asa the king that the eyes of the Lord go to and fro throughout all the earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts were perfect toward Him.
3. God said to the nation through Jeremiah,
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
a. This is after they had forsaken the Lord and had been defeated in that bloody war with Babylon and had been taken captive.
b. God said, my thoughts are of peace, I give to you a hope for the future.
c. It their darkest hour, God wanted to give them a hope for the future.
4. God revealed His name to Moses,
And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.
And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.
B. Just how did God bless them?
1. By giving them dominion over the other life forms that He had created.
a. Over the fish of the sea. I have a friend that thinks that the only time you have dominion over the fish of the sea, is when you have it hooked on your line, thus, this is a command of God to go fishing.
b. The fowl of the air.
c. And over every moving thing that moves on the earth.
2. God blessed Adam by giving him the earth. "Let him have dominion over all the earth."
3. God blessed him by placing him in a beautiful garden.
And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
II. THERE WAS ONLY ONE RESTRICTION PLACED ON MAN.
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat:
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.
A. Why would God put a tree with luscious looking fruit in the middle of the garden and then say you can't eat that fruit?
1. Because God wanted a meaningful loving relationship with man.
2. For this to happen, man had to have a free choice.
3. A free choice is not meaningful if there is nothing to choose.
4. The choice is not meaningful unless the alternative is very desirable.
B. Choice is not valid unless the choice is honored.
1. You have to make a choice between obedience or disobedience.
2. God said, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world, for he that has the love of the world in his heart, has not the love of the Father.
a. Now the world is very attractive and desirable to my flesh
b. Satan seeks to entice me to indulge in the lusts of my flesh.
c. He promises that I can find fulfillment and pleasure.
d. He makes it sound very attractive and exciting.
3. I must choose to obey the spirit or the flesh.
a. Don't find fault with Adam and Eve, when we so often make the very same choice that they made.
b. We so often choose to obey the temptations of Satan rather than the warnings of God.
4. God seeks to draw me to obedience through love.
5. Satan seeks to entice me to disobey through lusts.
6. Will I be controlled by the love of God or by the lusts of my flesh?
7. As with the forbidden fruit, the mind of the flesh is death.
8. To choose to live after the lusts of my flesh, is to choose death.
9. To choose to live in fellowship with God is life. Jesus said, "He that lives and believes in Me shall never die."
III. WE ALL KNOW THAT ADAM AND EVE MADE THE WRONG CHOICE, THEY FOLLOWED THE SUGGESTION OF SATAN AND ATE OF THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT.
A. In so doing, they lost their relationship with God. You cannot serve God and Mammon, you do serve God or Mammon.
1. That action was actually a double action, it was not just disobedience to the command of God, but it was obedience to the suggestions of Satan.
2. Sin is always a double action.
3. The Bible tells us:
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
a. In yielding themselves to obey Satan, they became the servants of Satan.
b. Thus the world that was once theirs by the gracious gift of God now belonged to Satan by forfeiture.
c. It no longer belonged to God for He gave it to man.
d. It no longer belonged to man, for he forfeited it to Satan.
e. One of Satan's names is destroyer, and he seeks to destroy everything that is holy and good.
f. When God finished His creation we read,
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, [it was] very good.
4. We look at how Satan is destroying the world today.
a. One of his great tools is greed.
B. It is sheer folly to try to blame God for all of the calamities that are in the world today.
1. The world has voted for Satan to rule over it.
2. The world is in rebellion against God and God has honored the choice of man that Satan should rule over them.
a. Mankind is suffering the consequences of his own choice.
b. James asked from whence came the fightings and the wars? He declared that they came from our own lusts.
c. All of the hatred, evil, double dealing, stealing, rapes murders come from the destroyer ruling over the world.
d. Paul said that all of us before we came to the grace of God, were children of wrath even as others.
3. I get upset when ignorant people try to blame the denuding of the rain forests upon the Christian concept that God gave to man the dominion over the earth.
a. It is not Christians that are destroying the beautiful rain forests, it is the commercial interests motivated by greed under the control of Satan.
b. The Christians went down to the rain forests and sought to bring the savage indians who lived in those forests to a better life in Jesus. They brought them hospitals, schools, orphanages.
c. How many hospitals do you know of that were built by atheistic charities?
d. How many schools were built by atheists? They do not build schools, they let the Christians build them and then they take them over and destroy the schools with their godless teaching. For the children of darkness are wiser in their generation, than the children of light.
4. When man chose to leave the fellowship of God by eating of the forbidden fruit, he passed from the government of God, the kingdom of light and life, into the government of Satan, the kingdom of death and darkness.
5. To his dismay he found that the door only swung one way, there was no way back into the kingdom of God, he could not undo what he had done.
C. The problem was that God still loved man and still desired a meaningful, loving relationship with him. But sin was in the way.
D. Thus God devised a plan to pardon the sins of those who would like to return to fellowship with God.
1. This plan involved God manifesting His love for man by sending His only begotten Son into the world to take man's sin and die in his place, thus redeeming man from sin.
2. Even as man exercised his free choice to leave God so now must man exercise his choice to come back into fellowship with God.
3. Through Jesus the Messiah, the way back to God is possible, man can experience the divine intention for his existence.
4. To men groping in darkness looking for light, Jesus said:
I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
5. For man seeking to quench that inner thirst for a truly satisfying life, Jesus said:
Whosoever drinks the water that I give shall never thirst; for the water that I give shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
6. For man looking for the way to God, Jesus said,
I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.