So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “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.” Genesis 1:27-28 ESV   

The Hebrew word radah can be translated reign, rule or have dominion. Interesting how God gave the world to mankind. He could have retained dominion over the earth but chose to delegate dominion to those he blessed and created in his image. Nothing seemed to be withheld in this dominion. Whatever the choices that humans made stood.

I suspect that a part of this delegation of authority is rooted in the idea that we are made in His image. As such we have the freedom to choose how we rule. Yet, unlike God, we do not seem to have the ability to always choose rightly. We choose bad over good. Hate over love. Our lives seem to point us to the reality that we are created good but often choose bad. And when we choose to do bad the earth, humanity and all we have dominion over suffers.

We have failed Lord. Our wars are evidence of our failure to exercise godly dominion. Help us to rule as you would.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on words in the bible.


  1. Excellent commentary.

    We have failed, like so many cultures and societies before us. The Lord is merciful to His people.
    He tells us:
    "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:13)

    1. Thanks Angelina. Love that verse you quote. Reminds me that the healing of our land is not on people who govern but on people who pray. Of course it is great when people who govern also seek God and humbly pray.


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