Man’s Dominion in God’s World

MEMORY VERSE: “Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.” —Psalm 8:6

GENESIS 1:26-28

MAN was created to live on the earth, and all his attributes are earthly. He was not designed, as the vast majority in the professed Christian world believe, to remain on the earth temporarily, and then shuffle off to some other place of abode through the so-called portal of death. The earth was designed to be man’s home forever.

Man was the highest order of God’s earthly creatures—the only one, indeed, created in the divine image. This is not a bodily image, but an image which has to do with the qualities of the mind. As the Creator is able to reason, so man was given this ability. Man is not able to reason on so high a plane as the Creator. The Creator, for instance, would not need to send representatives to the moon to collect samples of rock from which to glean some information as to how and when this heavenly body was created; but man’s ability to reason on a limited scale prompted him to desire this information even though he did have to go about in a crude manner to obtain it.

Man has the ability to know good from evil when properly informed, and to act upon this knowledge. In other ways man was created in the image of God. The record adds, “After our likeness.” God is the Ruler of the universe, and man was commissioned to have dominion over the earth. He was also commanded to “subdue the earth,” but he has made a very poor job thus far of both his kingship and assignment to subdue the earth.

Man has murdered millions of his fellows in order to have dominion over the remainder; and instead of subduing the earth he has corrupted it, so that today the earth is fast becoming polluted to the point where it is feared it will lead to the death of the human race itself.

These failures of man are due to original sin, and to the corrupting influence that sin still has upon the human race. God’s design toward man and his home on earth has not been changed by human failure. God loved his human creatures, and sent his beloved Son to die for Adam and through Adam for the entire race. Jesus became a substitute in death for the world of mankind, and the plan of God reveals that in the Lord’s due time the redeemed world of mankind will be restored to life and given an opportunity to make good by obedience to the laws of the messianic kingdom; and those who do will live forever on the planet just as the Creator originally intended.


David was a man of meditation, much of which he based upon the creative works of God. Psalm 19:1,2 reads, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge.”

It is in this vein that we read in our lesson, “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?” David found the answer to this question, saying, “Thou hast made him [man] a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.”

God was “mindful” of man and intended, through his beloved Son, to “visit” him because he had created him in his own image and had given him dominion over the works of his hands. In other words, man was important to God because he had made him king of earth, and his design was to restore that dominion.—Matt. 25:34

As we noted, man does not now exercise dominion over the earth—not in the way that the Creator intended. Paul agrees with this. After quoting from the 8th Psalm he observes, “But now we see not yet all things put under” man, “but we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, … that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” Thank God for this loving provision whereby man can be restored to his lost inheritance!


Where is man’s eternal home?

By what means will he be restored to his lost inheritance?

Dawn Bible Students Association
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