Monday- Week 1
The Birth of Jesus (early 20th century) by Woonbo Kim Ki-Chang
Creation of Man
"Then God said, 'Let us make man in Our image, in Our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'
So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.'
Then God said, 'I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.' And it was so.
God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day."
What three things did God tell the man and woman to do?
[Have children, subdue the earth, and rule over the animals]
Why do you think He gave them these three tasks?
Answers vary, but some may include:
Having children: so that there would be people to populate the earth and provide workers for the huge task of subduing the earth and ruling over the animals;
Subduing the earth: being good stewards of the earth entails taking care of the environment which also protects the health and well-being of future generations;
Ruling over the animals: God has provided animals for us to help us in our task to subdue the earth (agricultural pursuits- tilling the ground, providing transport, companionship, etc.).
What kind of food did people and all animals eat at the beginning of creation?
["And to all the beasts of the earth...I give every green plant for food."
So, plants: fruits and vegetables—no meat!]
For Further Discussion
The Bible passage above is called the Edenic Covenant, why would this be considered a covenant of responsibility?
Have you ever thought about how God expects us to treat the animals He provides for food as well as for companionship?
Read 1 Corinthians 10:26
Most of us no longer live an agrarian life, but we all benefit from proper stewardship of God's provisions from the earth.
Does God care about how we treat the land? How do you know? [In Exodus 23:10-11 God tells the people to let the land rest every seventh year and to allow the poor and the wild animals to eat from the land.]
Why do you think God made this requirement of His people? [There are a myriad of benefits to the land, and to the health of humans by rotating crops and allowing the land to lie fallow. He also cares about the poor and needy, and even wild animals.]
What did God say was one of the reasons for allowing Judah (the southern Kingdom of Israel) to be taken into captivity by Babylon? (Read Leviticus 26:43 and 2 Chronicles 36:20-21) [To allow the land 70 years of rest.]
Do you think God expects us to hold those in charge of our food supply to high standards of stewardship? What are some tangible ways you and your family can do this starting now?
Take some time to inform yourself about humane husbandry and the ways you can influence legislators to change these practices that harm not only the creatures He's entrusted to our care, but the planet He commanded us to steward. Here's a site to begin: What is Humane Farming?
Close In Prayer
Pray that our nation and our leaders would take seriously God's mandate for responsible stewardship of His land and His creatures. Though there are some that may ridicule God's clear command as just 'tree hugger' or 'hipster' theology, we must remember that we are to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).
Make A Joyful Sound!
Choose a song from Songs for Advent- Week 1 or choose one of your family's favorites.