The Dominion Effect

Esther Rogers | May 19, 2021

Jason asked me to address a few questions in regards to our relationship with the earth as stated in Genesis 1: 26-31..

I did indeed! Do you have any initial thoughts before we dive right in?

When I think about the statement “made in our image” referring to God’s creation of man it is impossible for my heart or brain to reconcile myself as being God-like. Prior to Adam and Eve having been tempted by and ultimately succumb to Satan a connection existed between God and man. The connection was just as natural as drawing their next breath. They didn’t have to think about their relationship with God. It simply was! I liken this breakdown to our precious earthly relationships. We may have a relationship with someone that enriches our lives and perhaps the worth of that relationship is taken for granted until one person sins against the other and the relationship is severed. How precious that relationship feels then.

So, Esther, what do you think it means to have dominion over the earth?

Per Merriam Webster Dictionary the word dominion means “Supreme authority: Sovereignty//having dominion over the natural world”.

Considering the Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew I thought it would be interesting to see what the original words and meaning were.

In the original Hebrew for the words “have dominion” is the verb “radah” which means to rule by going down and walking among the subjects as an equal. So we are to be equal yet have supreme authority over the earth. I can actually get down with that.

Dominion over the earth was Adam’s God-given power.

Gen 2:15 God gave Eden to Adam to “keep and tend”.

Gen 2:19 God formed and brought each beast of the field and every bird of the air to Adam to name them.

Gen2:21 God created women from the rib of Adam so that he would not be alone and have a helper.

Douglas F. Kelly wrote, “But the dominion of Genesis teaches man both to respect and subdue nature, so as to share it in a direction that will reflect the beauty, order, and glory of its creator.”

"Reflect the beauty, order ad glory of its creator." I love that! What else does having dominion entail?

John MacArthur writes: “Unfortunately, when he fell, Adam abdicated some of his God-given authority. When he yielded to Satan, he forfeited the absolute dominion God had given him over the earth. It is interesting that Jesus repeatedly referred to Satan as “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). That was supposed to be man’s role. But Adam’s willful sin in effect forfeited dominion to the devil.”

After reading the sermon from John MacArthur I was left VERY perplexed. You may also be thinking the same as I did. What is the point of recycling, up-cycling, water-saving, composting, electric cars, let’s hug a tree and go live off the land stuff if it’s all for naught? We live in one of the most beautiful areas of the world. How could this place we call our “home” not be worth the effort and self-sacrifice that environmentalists insist are essential to the survival of our earth? Wait……..survival? Keep reading.

I think I WILL keep reading :) As far as the earth is concerned, what are our responsibilities? Where are we getting it right? What are we getting it wrong?

I believe that the point of John MacArthur’s message is to convey the importance of salvation through Jesus Christ.

We are all sinful and have fallen woefully short of God’s original intent for us. We are not capable of fulfilling God’s original intent for us which was to have dominion over all the earth. Gen 1:26 “and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

I don’t think anyone has dominion over any wild creatures! For those of you who have or have had gardens, you know what it takes to prepare soil, plant, and maintain a garden. Weeds, bugs, and the ever pesky slugs!

Fishing? Well, I don’t see any downfall when it comes to fishing. I definitely have authority over a jig or a worm and I will wait patiently and for a very long time to get me some fish! Our race of humans has excelled in many things that have enriched our lives. Electricity, infrastructure, communications, food production, ease of travel (cars, planes). So much more! And I think we can all agree that these “enrichments” have come at an astronomical price. I’m not going to debate the topic of global warming. What I will do is look into what I use when I clean my home, my car, and my body. Any cleaners! I take the time to read the labels and research what impact it has on the environment and choose accordingly. I read food labels. Research what we’re eating. Man, I love bacon, sausage, hot dogs. All that stuff rocks my world! BUT, I don’t like nitrates. How did that get in our food? My point is that I think we should care about how we treat the earth, our bodies, other people, and animals.

The Apostle John writes in Revelations 21 that there will be a new Heaven and a new Earth. Again, why all the conservation efforts if God will destroy Heaven and Earth? I believe this is the answer. After our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ arose from death he appeared to his disciples and clearly gives us the answer! Matthew 28: 18-20 “All authority has been given to me in heaven and earth”. So, Jesus has authority over the earth as well as heaven! Our earth is a most precious creation just like we are. Taking care of our earth and ourselves and others is a direct response to that authority.

I would like to ask each of you to watch a series called One Strange Rock. This is a 10 part series exploring the fragility and wonder of planet earth. One of the most peculiar, unique places in the universe. I believe every living human being should take the time and watch what our planet is. It will change your worldly perspective.

I will look out for that series! I might even start it tonight. far as hot dogs are concerned... National treasure Betty White has said on multiple occasions that her favorite food is hot dogs and she has one every single day. And I mean, she's less that a year away from the century mark, so maybe hot dogs are the key to longevity?? :)

So funny, Jason! Actually, my mom fed us hot dogs and french fries for lunch almost every day when we were in school!

I know that you're not a nutritionist or a simply care. Care about the Earth, about how you treat your body and what goes into it, etc. I really appreciate and respect that. But, I wonder how you respond to people who just don't care at all about any of that stuff?

Not everyone's interests are the same. Continued conversation with someone who is not interested is futile. I've been shown much grace and respect in my life and that's what I show in return.

I don't want to be seen as Charlie Brown's teacher. 

Ok, last question: What have I learned from being in a position of authority?

WOW. So much! I learned very early on in my career that there is an ailment called “manageritis”. These are people in a position of authority that cannot see past their title. They're typically not good people to work with.

Having a child taught me what sacrificial love is. Unconditional love. Blind love.

When my daughter-in-law bore twins my world changed. Being a grandmother changed my world perspective in a way that having a child of my own didn’t. I suddenly became a grandmother to all children. I now saw all children through the eyes of Jesus. All children are precious.

I learned that managing staff is very similar to babysitting. Somedays it’s like corralling kittens.

But seriously what I did learn is that my staff was a direct reflection of me. If I am answerable for the work I present to my superior and that work comes from my staff then I better have a well-trained and well-equipped staff. Always have an open door policy. Make myself approachable. Let it be known I am a Christian. I was always so humbled when someone asked if I would pray with them.

Above all do all things as though I was doing it for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Thank you so much, Esther!