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May-20-2010 14:18printcomments

God Blessed Them First

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.

Salem-News.com
Courtesy: treehugger.com

(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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Trevor June 2, 2010 5:59 am (Pacific time)

What does it mean that God blessed the animals first? Probably nothing more than a chronological significance--they were created first, so they were blessed first. Also, it is quite likely that the blessing upon the animal kingdom was done for the sake of what was yet to come: humans.

What does it mean that Jesus came and died for mankind and mankind alone? Humans are the only beings made in His image. Humans are the only sentient beings in this world. Humans are the only creatures endowed with a soul. Humans are the only creatures whose decisions in this world affect their eternal destiny. Humans are the crown of creation--the only ones that Jesus weeps for. God created humans to "rule over" the animals--without any "for better or worse" misgivings.

Because humans are the crown of creation--made of the "best stuff" (in His image)--we are capable of the worst. Remembering our role as a steward ("the earth is the Lords and everything in it") is a significant key to gaining the proper perspective when it comes to our handling of all of the earth's resources.

This would include the natural resource of oil, which has provided humans with a wonderful opportunity for improving the lives and lifestyles of untold billions the world over.


Trevor June 2, 2010 6:00 am (Pacific time)

What does it mean that God blessed the animals first? Probably nothing more than a chronological significance--they were created first, so they were blessed first. Also, it is quite likely that the blessing upon the animal kingdom was done for the sake of what was yet to come: humans. What does it mean that Jesus came and died for mankind and mankind alone? Humans are the only beings made in His image. Humans are the only sentient beings in this world. Humans are the only creatures endowed with a soul. Humans are the only creatures whose decisions in this world affect their eternal destiny. Humans are the crown of creation--the only ones that Jesus weeps for. God created humans to "rule over" the animals--without any "for better or worse" misgivings. Because humans are the crown of creation--made of the "best stuff" (in His image)--we are capable of the worst. Remembering our role as a steward ("the earth is the Lords and everything in it") is a significant key to gaining the proper perspective when it comes to our handling of all of the earth's resources. This would include the natural resource of oil, which has provided humans with a wonderful opportunity for improving the lives and lifestyles of untold billions the world over.


Osotan; May 22, 2010 3:49 am (Pacific time)

In my observation I'd consider a Hebrew blessing to be a curse in disguise.I don't think humanity has subdued the earth as much as they have nearly ruined it,my own actions included. I lean more toward Budhism and we got to account for our own actions. peace.


Scott Drake May 21, 2010 10:01 am (Pacific time)

Mr. Wilson, Thank you for bringing the biblical roots of environmentalism into view. No doubt you have detractors, but I am confident that there are many out their who share your views and many more who will come to agree. Please keep speaking up for what is right.

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