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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Then God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.’”—Genesis 1:28 (NLT)
“You have the conn.” This famous Star Trek line, uttered by Captain James T. Kirk before heading out on a mission that would take him off of the Starship Enterprise, signified that he was leaving someone else in charge. Apparently, this is a naval term that describes “the act of controlling a ship's movements while at sea.”
Have you ever been put in charge of something? Maybe you were asked to head up a project at work or school. Maybe you were left to housesit or babysit for someone. Maybe you are a manager, coach, or business owner. Maybe you have kids.
The Bible makes it very clear in this verse that each and every one of us has been left in charge of this earth by Almighty God, the Creator of heaven and earth. He pretty much said, “Mankind, you have the conn.”
He’s given us a truly great responsibility to steward the earth; He has charged us with the care of His creation . . . a creation that, before He placed it in our care, was declared “very good” (Genesis 1:31).
So, let me ask you . . . How do you think we’ve done since Genesis 1:28? How well have we taken care of the earth we were given charge over? How well have we cared for the land? Has our governance over the “the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground” been God-honoring or man-gratifying?
If we’re being honest and we look on at the world, we haven’t done a very good job. We’ve done a lot of multiplying, but we’ve also done a lot of subtracting—as we’ve cut down rain forests, depleted natural resources, eradicated entire species of animals, and even enslaved and oppressed one another.
As believers, we should be leading the charge in caring for the planet. We should be the most environmentally conscious, the biggest advocates for the humane treatment of animals and the conservation of the planet, and the most active when it comes to injustice. This was the first blessing and directive we were given by God. I pray we would be more intentional about caring for the earth that our Father declared very good and caring for one another as His Son Jesus Christ would.
DIG: What does it mean that God gave us charge over the earth?
DISCOVER: Read the Parable of the Talents. How do you think it relates to Psalm 8:6 and Genesis 1:28?
DO: Be intentional about your care of the earth and everything in it. Honor this command of God. Lead the world by example. Our good stewardship and care for the earth, all the creatures in it, and one another will impact people. It’s one way of letting your light shine before others, “that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 NIV).
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.