While Reading Gary North’s God’s Covenants (hopefully for a lengthy data-dump/summary on this blog at a later date), I came across this passage:
God placed mankind over the creation. Man is under God and over the creation.
God even established the heavens to serve as cosmic clocks for mankind to measure the passing of time.
And God said, Let there be lights in the ﬁrmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the ﬁrmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also (Genesis 1:14-16).
This means that in the grand scheme of things, the heavens serve mankind. The sun and the moon have a purpose: to serve mankind. This was true even before the creation of man. This means that the universe is not impersonal. It is personal. It also reveals purpose. There is no doctrine more foreign to modern Darwinism. The heart of Darwinism is the denial of all purpose until the advent of man.
God placed man over the environment, which includes inanimate resources and living things. They exist to serve man, as surely as the sun and the moon exist in order to serve man. The Psalmist sang God’s praises for this hierarchical arrangement.
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy ﬁngers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the ﬁeld; The fowl of the air, and the ﬁsh of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas (Psalm 8:3-8).
Man reports to God. The rest of the creation reports to man. God has delegated authority to man to act on His behalf. Man serves as a mediator: representing nature to God and God to nature. When Adam and Eve fell, nature suffered. This has not changed. “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Romans 8:22).
Now, if you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that I strongly endorse the expansion of Man across the stars, but I also recognize that the Dominion Mandate focuses on Man as God’s Chosen Authority over the Earth – but does not place the stars underneath the feet of men. Moreover, a close reading will reveal that the heavens are meant as a way to keep time, and to give us light – but is nowhere said to be a land for us to tame and colonize and bring to life.
Still – the heavens serve man. Christ is the Word of God, and thus when God called the heavens and the earth to being, it was through Christ. So, the stars and the galaxies and the worlds are all under Christ, and as all things are under Christ’s feet:
For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. (I Corinthians 15:27)
Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. (Ephesians 1:21-23)
Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (Hebrews 2:7-9)
Couple this with the high position that God intends for His adopted sons (with the only begotten Son as their head, and ruling with Him forever), it seems reasonable that covenant-keeping men will rule the heavens and the earth with Christ.
But ‘reasonable’ is different than ‘Biblical’.
I hope that I am following God’s thoughts after Him, but HE will decide if I have it right or not.
1 O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
9 O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! (Pssalm 8)
This is an inspirational psalm, and points to God’s glory, and the authority He has given us.
But carefully read it – all of the authority God has granted us is only over one world, Earth. The rest of the universe is extremely hostile to us, and we can’t really hold onto it.
(Certainly, we can’t hold on to it and to our hatreds, theft, and lies as well! It’s far easier to use the required technology to kill and enslave each other than to build another Earth, and only an extremely far-sighted, wise, and God-fearing people can make another world their home.)
It will take a lot of work to rebuild even one other world – Mars, Venus, or even the Moon – to the shirtsleeve environment Earth has!
And – despite the great amount of progress and godliness I believe will come before Christ returns – I doubt that we will properly terraform a single world before His return.
Afterwards? Well, the Bible does talk about the New Heavens and the New Earth: we will see what happens then.
(A truly hard-core Postmillennialist may well argue that we, as God’s Instruments, will make the New Heavens and the New Earth. I’m not that hard-core, but I am prepared to be proven wrong here – so long as Christ Jesus and His Law-Word gets the glory!)