God’s Intent for Creation
By Mark Sooy
We were created for abundance and goodness. Deep down we know this to be true. Though today the vision of what that describes is fuzzy, the early chapters of Genesis explain God’s original intent for His creation. He tells us our purpose and calling as human beings. Let’s focus on Genesis 1:28, which has often been called the “cultural mandate”:
And God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28 NASB)
Note the key words in this passage: be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, subdue, rule. We can encapsulate these ideas by using the word abundance. Humans were created with the intent of abundant living. Fruitfulness and growth, multiplication and expansion, as well as structure and organization, are all part of God’s plan. These also include stewardship of society and care for the natural world.
In addition, as the biblical writer introduces those concepts of abundance, we learn that “God blessed them,” and in the next verse we see that God provided all that man needed to fulfill his calling. God infused His creation with goodness! In fact, God provided in such a way that mankind’s success could be guaranteed (had he remained obedient – but more on that later).
The overall scope of mankind’s role in this world is broad. It includes stewardship of all kinds, and too often we forget that these words that describe abundance and goodness are also economic in nature. Economics, that is, in a holistic way. Fruitfulness can relate to profit. Multiplication relates to growth. To “fill the earth” can coincide with market share. To rule and subdue is to be a steward, or manager.
It is due to these realities that each of us have an inner sense of God’s original intent. These ideas were built into the song of creation, and we still have echoes of that melody bouncing through our existence. As we reflect this week about our roles at our institutions and companies, the responsibilities that we have in our families, and the service we provide in our churches and ministries, let us consider what it means for God to have created us for abundance and goodness.
In the next few days give me a clearer vision about what you intended for Your creation. Show me Your hand in my life and how You are providing for me to live abundantly. Remind me of my mission and my purpose as I serve those around me. Amen.