Monday, April 16, 2018

Genesis 9:1-2 God's Glorious Purpose for Humankind

KEY TEXT: Gen 9:1-2 And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered."

KEY THOT: Immediately after the Flood (read Genesis 7-8), God blessed Noah and restated His original purpose for mankind: "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered." God restated His mandate for humankind that He first gave to Adam in Genesis 1:28, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." That was and is God's intention when He created man--that he should rule over God's earth. However, when man sinned against God, Satan usurped this authority to rule over this world. 

So Christ came as the Last Adam to restore this divine mandate to rule over God's creation and creatures. And everyone who is now in Christ, though born of the First Adam, will rule the earth jointly with Christ, the Last Adam:
  • 1 Corinthians 15:45-49 Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being";  the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
So, God's original purpose for the First Adam to rule over the earth will be fully restored in Christ, the Last Adam. In fact, all who are born again into God's family as His children have already been given this restored authority to rule over the earth. Thus it is stated in Ephesians 2:4-6, "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus." So Paul also declares in Romans 8:37, "in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."

So as believers we are not only raised up spiritually from the dead, but we also exalted to the highest place in heaven and seated together with Christ Jesus as joint-rulers over the earth. Our mandate and authority to rule the earth has been restored in Christ. Satan who has usurped the authority from Adam remains the de facto prince of this world (that is, over those who are still aligned with him in rebellion against the true God.) But Jesus told His disciples in Luke 10:18-19, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.  Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you."

We are created to rule upon this earth, not as slaves of Satan or sin, but as sons and daughters of God, clothed with the full authority of Christ to fulfill our original purpose. Like the Prodigal Son in the Parable of the Lost Son (Luke 15:11-32), despite his failures and sins, the father restored to him the full rights as his son, even though he wanted to return to his father's house to be a servant. This Prodigal Son has his full rights restored--his new robe and ring signify his restored status as son of the household: "But the father said to his servants, 'Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet" (Luke 15:22).

The sad part of this parable is the Elder Son. Though he lived in his father's house, he didn't understand his full rights and authority. He even claimed that though he had never disobeyed his father all these years, his father "never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends" (Luke 15:29). What a sad tragedy! To be living in the Father's household and yet not enjoying the rights and privileges of sonship.

This Elder Son may be typical of many Christians who has never enjoyed their rights and privileges as sons and daughters. They continue to live in spiritual poverty of fears and sins, more like prodigals outside the Father's house than restored children who have been clothed with the robe of righteousness of Christ and the ring of authority of Christ.

God has called us to be rulers over the earth. And in Christ, He has restored to us the full authority to rule. May our eyes be opened to this fact and live accordingly, not like the Elder Brother, complaining with frustration that he didn't even get a goat to celebrate with his friends!

Abba-Father, thank You that You have restored to us the mandate to rule and reign with Christ. Thank You for restoring our full rights and privileges as children of God in Christ. Help us to live in these blessings from this day onward. Amen.

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