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Friday, December 18, 2009

The First Commission

Last week I claimed that carpentry is the work of God. Even pounding nails and building a home in your neighborhood.

I justified this claim by referencing the “The First Commission,” found in Genesis 1:26-28.

It is the very first command of God to human beings.

Here's how The Message puts it:

God spoke: "Let us make human beings in our image, make them
reflecting our nature
So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea,
the birds in the air, the cattle,
And, yes, Earth itself...

He created them male and female.
God blessed them:
"Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!
Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air,
or every living thing that moves on the face of Earth."

Genesis 1:26-28 is sometimes called, “The Cultural Mandate,” or, “The Dominion Mandate.”

But I prefer to call it, The First Commission.

And what a commission it is!

Here we have a commission to rule over the entire globe! It is a command to take charge.

Chuck Colson summed it up this way: “On the sixth day, God created human beings—and ordered them to pick up where He left off!”

Randy Kilgore says: “God created a world that functions on order, and requires labor for its tending. He created you and me to be a part of that order, to do that labor. Even when our acts at work don’t seem to have eternal significance, their very rendering fulfills His original commission to humans to tend His creation.”

"Creation-tending" is a very big job! Ruling over "all the Earth" (not just the animals) entails a responsibility as broad as the world is wide, and requires a lot of varied occupations, including carpentry, as well as civil service, high-tech work and homemaking.

Earth-tending involves physical work ( as with Adam the landscaper, tending and keeping the Garden), and mental work (as with Adam the zoologist, naming the animals.)

Both kinds of work occurred before the Fall. Work is not a curse. The curse just made work more difficult.

Did the Fall cancel The First Commission?

I don't think so.

Ruling over trees, metal, electricity and water pipes is all part of what goes into building a good house. And when Joe builds that house, he is participating in The First Commission.

That's the way I see it.

What do you think?