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Subduing & Co-Creating

Man was told by God in Genesis 1 to subdue the earth, to tend the garden and to do work that was only joyful, and to rule over the animals ... and as a first time home owner, I think I am starting to see a small glimpse into this pre-fall paradise that Adam and Eve were able to live in for a time before the curse.

You see when I was younger I had to do all kinds of yard work, and I even worked at a tree nursery for a living for a time in my young adult life. None of it was what I would call fun. All of it resembled to post-fall type of subduing of the earth by the sweat of my brow and it producing nothing but thorns and thistles for me (Gen 3:17-19) ... with task masters (my parents - not the Egyptian slave owners of the Israelites) breathing over my shoulder telling me what to do and how to do it. Mow the lawn like this. Hedge the bushes like that. And so on.



But now when I work in a yard of my own (and there are no Egyptian slave masters), there is a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that I feel that has caused me to take pause and think; where is this satisfaction coming from? Whether it is landscaping beautiful gardens, or building bridges and amazing skyscrapers, or simply organizing your desk and workspace, God has created us to find joy and satisfaction in co-creating.

Making us in His image (Gen 1:27), God has given us the ability to be co-creators. Not only in the ability to make human life (go and increase in number Gen 1:28) but also in the ability to "subdue the earth" (Gen 1:29), meaning that we have dominion and control over our environment and that we are the stewards and masters of it (a biblical reason for taking care of the earth). All that God creates is "good" and "pleasant" (Gen 1), it has been us as fallen humanity that has marred that beauty (Gen 3) and brought about death and decay (although we will regain the perfect ability to work and create without the destruction, decay and death of sin in the new Earth), however when we are making something beautiful again (making something useful, pleasing, and restoring to life) we are tapping into that goodness of God and His creator-ship, sharing in the joy and satisfaction that he feels when creating something "good" and "pleasant".

This is a great joy and grace that the creator God would allow us to not only share in the ability of co-creating, but also share in the divine joy and satisfaction of doing so.


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