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Today's Text

 
26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

Genesis 1:26 (NASB)

 

May 25, 2013

 

The Gift of Responsibility

By Don Meadows

God didn’t assign humankind a job when He gave dominion (KJV) of all living creatures into his hand.  He offered him a blessed gift to understand His caring and watchfulness over us.

 

Six bird feeders present Janet and me a window into the wonders of tiny life.  Even our five cats watch them intently, although probably with different ambitions.  It is a microcosm of our world.  Displayed is life and death, drama, humor, confrontation, acceptance, rejection, sex, birth, tragedy and so many, many realities of all God’s – and our – creatures.

 

Assignment as caretakers of God’s creatures is a foreboding task.  Many times we have failed, as humankind. There are, however, wonderful examples of man’s successes.

 

The other day as I watched the birds I realized that, in assigning you and me and we, charge of his creatures, God has conferred upon us an opportunity to be “godlike.”  Don’t misunderstand.  We aren’t divine, but we are being challenge to be witnesses of our “likeness” of the Divine.

 

Recently I found the remains of four little birds under my carport, where nests had been built under the rafters.  I assume these tiny creatures had matured enough to be stirring in the nests and had fallen out – some 10 to 12 feet and were killed by impact.  Janet and I grieved.  We felt badly that we had not done something to aid their survival.  We mourned the lost opportunity of their lives.  We had not known of their existence until discovering their remains but that didn’t lessen the sense of the loss.

 

How God must grieve, too, because He does know.  Jesus told us: “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.” Matthew 10:29 (KJV)

 

If God knows about each sparrow that falls, surely He knows about each baby who is aborted, about each child who dies prematurely, about each child who is abused or molested.  He grieves for each life lost because of the failure of people to discharge their responsibility to have care over all His creatures – which includes human ones as well as animals.

 

Many people today do not recognize the heinous practices of individuals guided by majority rule or politically-acceptable guidelines.  We live in an evil world, in a country growing less godly and more defiant of divine guidance.  Tragically, this is also true of many churches – denominations, congregations and preachers.

 

Have we not become like the man Micah?  He “had an house of gods, and made an ephod, and teraphim[1], and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest.  In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Judges 17:5-6 (KJV)

 

Fewer and fewer are those who accept and boast that Jesus is their king.  The Bible is revered less and less as God’s Word to mankind.  Thus, we have become, and are becoming, more and more focused on our wants, desires and obedient to our defined moralities.  It’s as though the thought, “Everybody’s doing it,” makes all things right if enough people subscribe to that thinking.

 

Thus, we become less sensitive to God speaking to us through the Holy Spirit and endanger our own lives and souls and those of loved ones and all of humanity.  We tolerate these resulting many sins because we, too, practice them.

 

One of the fruits of this behavior is the abandonment of the assigned task given to us at the very beginning -- stewardship of God’s creatures.

 

Repairing this break with God is impossible for us to effect.  Only God can heal the wounds we have inflicted upon ourselves and others, and this He offers to do through Jesus Christ.  The price of death to atone for our sin was paid by Jesus, and He offers the hand of friendship and fellowship for those who will believe, repent and accept His jurisdiction.

 

Be kind and loving and helpful to the fowls of the air, the fishes of the seas and the beasts of the earth.  Threat them as you wish God to treat you. How you do this says much of your relationship to the One who is watching over you.

 

Help me realize every day

The lives entrusted to me.

May love guard and cover

Each one, so God’s smile I see.

 

Dcm25may13

[1] an image of a Semitic household god, © 2013 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated