I have been struck by the connectedness between man and the rest of the creation that is evidenced in the early chapters of Genesis. It seems that the LORD intended for us humans to live in harmony with the creation, not in the situation where man abuses and exploits the creation. Notice the words that God says to the man and the woman in Genesis 1:28: “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.” Man was to rule over the creation, he was not to destroy and exploit the creation. Yet in the world today man exploits the earth to satisfy his own greed.
There is a definite tenderness with which God entrusts His creation to mankind. He takes His treasured creation and gives it to man, with the hope that man will care for it and nurture it and that it will flourish under man’s watchful care. Later the LORD God places the man whom He had formed in the garden to cultivate it and keep it. (Genesis 2:8, 15) Again, the LORD God is entrusting the man with His creation. Throughout the early chapters of Genesis mankind is closely connected to the rest of creation.
But what do we experience today? Most of humanity is completely detached from the creation and is surrounded by humanity and technology and urban sprawl. This is a loss, in my opinion. How can I fulfill my role as one of the LORD’s vice-regents if I am disconnected from the creation I am called to steward? I think this is one of the reasons we are so empty in this age. We are enamored with our technology and obsessed with our buildings and our cars and our modern conveniences, but we are lacking any real connection to the rest of creation and from the earth that God created. This robs us of a very essential part of our humanity, of the thing that makes us human. Probably more importantly, we are not able to obey the “creation mandate” given to us by the Creator. Because we are disconnected from the rest of creation, we are unable to rule the earth and subdue it.