Vice-Regents of Creation
Read: Genesis 1:26-31
God created humanity as His image bearers. In the Ancient Near East, divine images were a cultural fixture. People worshipped what we now call idols: crafted statues made to represent their gods. Wherever the image of a god was placed, be it in a household, a temple, or a field of battle, the presence of the image represented the dominion of the deity. The divine image laid claims of rulership over the sphere in which it was present.
So, when Genesis tells the story of how God created humanity and called them His image bearers, commissioning them to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over all created things, people of the Ancient Near East would have been familiar with these categories. Wherever God’s image bearers go, they go as representatives of God Himself. Wherever the image is present, it represents the dominion of God laying claim to that sphere over which His will is then exercised.
But instead of inanimate statues, God’s image bearers are living beings. They have their own agency and will. As image bearers, we are more than just symbols of the rule of God, we are, in fact, agents of the rule of God. We are vice-regents of creation. To bear the image of God is to extend the rule and reign of God through our own lives as stewards of all creation. We’re ambassadors of the King!
We were created to rule over all creation on behalf of the Ruler of all the universe. Our creation mandate is to bring the gracious rule of God to every square inch of creation, so that His perfect will might be done “on earth as it is in heaven.” Beginning in Eden, and multiplying to the ends of the earth, we were made to come under the rule of God, and through our lives, exercise the reign of God for the flourishing of all creation to the very ends of the earth!
Your Journey Reflection Questions:
Where do you see evidence in your own life that you were made to rule?
What does it mean to bring our lives under the reign of God?
How might we extend the reign of God through our lives?
In light of what you’ve learned today, what is your next step?