Be Fruitful and Multiply
by Harley Voogd
I don’t know what to believe about the global warming or climate change issue anymore because both sides of the contention say they’re 100% right and they cantankerously demonize each other.
But if we look to the issue from a Christian perspective, rather than a political one, we can see more clearly.
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 heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
This verse is the first commission — our first duty as human beings in relation to this planet. God created the world, put our first parents into a garden surrounded by wilderness, and told them to expand the garden; take dominion.
What does it look like to take dominion?
Well obviously, since it was God who gave the order, we are to care for and nurture the earth. God cares for and nurtures His own, and so He clearly expects us to do the same. Notice how when you love and nurture plants, they grow and flourish. And when you love and care for a dog, that dog will be a loving gentle animal. It is our responsibility to enable lower life forms to reach their fullest potential. We do this through love and care. Unfortunately sin has totally screwed things up, but the original commission still stands. In fact, the newer ‘Great Commission’ given by Jesus, in Mark 16:14-18, empowers us to once again fulfill the first commission.
And I use the term ‘lower life forms’ designedly. I am not equal to a tree. I am greater than a tree. I was created in God’s image. The Giant Sequoia was not. And so while we care and nurture for the earth we are also commanded to be fruitful and multiply. That means having kids, building houses and roads, shaping the landscape, and developing new technologies. So, trees are going to be cut down, and animals are going to be relocated. This is okay when we do it in a caring, nurturing fashion.
When we obey God, act according to His character, and trust in His sovereignty, we don’t need to worry about the end of the world. Jesus came to save the world, not destroy it.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
~Romans 8:18-25 (NKJV)