Thursday, November 27, 2008

Not Dominion But Rebellion -– and Restoration

I introduced Oikonomia to the blogsphere to promote reflection upon the nature of human responsibility to exercise dominion over the Earth and to exercise stewardship of the material resources, time, and talents we have received from our Creator.

We began by exalting YAHWEH as the “Greatest Subject” (August 1, 2008) for He is the King of all creation. Yet, surprisingly, the “Greatest Subject” chose to “subject” all of creation to the dominion of humankind as noted in our August 11 entry. God invited mankind to exercise dominion and thus be living examples of how God would rule over creation. We quoted Psalm 8 in this blog entry which calls us to contemplate the wondrous fact that the God of heaven would elevate humankind to the position of exercising dominion over His glorious creation:

What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet Psalm 8:4-6

In the August 29 and September 19 entries, we considered the importance of recognizing categories as one of the basic principles of biblical dominion – i.e. “Dominion 101.” Sadly, humankind failed the course when Adam and Eve failed to follow God’s command not to take and eat from one category among the trees of the Garden of Eden – the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 3). Suddenly aware of their nakedness and seeking to hide from the One with Whom they had walked and talked in the Garden, they sought to hide by camouflaging themselves with coverings of plant leaves.

Since mankind’s original “fall” in the Garden, there has been the “confusion of categories.” When we are out of fellowship with God, our view of God is diminished as stated in Romans 1:21 – they did not honor Him as God or give thanks. And often, our view of ourselves may be exalted in pride – professing to be wise they became fools (Rom 1:22) . Together, these sins tend to blur the distinctions between God and mankind; and between mankind and the other creatures. This is the “confusion of categories” that is actually promoted by pantheism (see entries for Aug. 29 and Sept. 19). In the Sept. 19 entry, we noted that proper exercise of dominion “requires that humans be humans, taking responsibility for dominion as God intended it– being image-bearers of the Almighty God and Glorious King of all creation.” We asked how this can be accomplished. The answer in part is that we must begin in humility and confession of sin. Then seek God’s wisdom and provision to be the servant kings He wants us to be:

Prayer: Lord, I can relate to Adam and Eve’s alienation from You through my own sin. Immediately, I see myself as defiled and degraded and not as one crowned with glory and majesty who can rule over the works of Your hands. Forgive me for rationalizing my own sin, sometimes blaming You, my Creator; sometimes blaming others, or looking for reasons to accuse them or find fault in them. Instead, help me own up to my own sin, for I have sinned against You. Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow (Psalm 51:7). Then, You will delight in righteous sacrifices (v. 19a) on this glorious Thanksgiving Day.

No comments: