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God Blessed Them FirstBy Ken Wilson Salem-News.com
Maybe it’s time for us to take a step back from the shrill voices of the culture war, and consider the wisdom of the ages.
(ANN ARBOR) - As the engineers seek to contain the gusher in the Gulf of Mexico, how do we get our hearts around what’s happening there?
An ancient take on the world around us might help. Few people seem to notice that in the creation account of Genesis, chapter one, God blessed the sea creatures and the birds of the air—the very creatures affected by the British Petroleum oil spill—first.
Yes, before any other blessing had been uttered over this blessed planet, God blessed them first. “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth….God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.’ “ (Genesis 1: 20, 22-23, TNIV)
Anyone familiar with the Hebrew concept of blessing knows that any subsequent blessing cannot impinge on this first blessing. The second blessing, of course, is ours: “God created human beings in his image…God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the sky” (Genesis 1: 27-28)
For better or worse, we are the dominant and dominating species on this planet. For better or worse, we rule. Increasingly, the other creatures thrive, survive or suffer, in the space we allow them.
Our rule over the sea creatures and the flying birds in the Gulf of Mexico has missed the mark of our calling. We were the ones chanting “Drill Baby Drill” when the price of oil started to rise. We were the ones looking out for our own interests first, the blessed interests of the other creatures be damned.
Maybe it’s time for us to take a step back from the shrill voices of the culture war, and consider the wisdom of the ages. What does it mean that God blessed them first?
Ken Wilson is Senior Pastor of Vineyard Church of Ann Arbor and author of Mystically Wired: Exploring New Realms in Prayer (Thomas Nelson, 2010).
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