Monday, February 6, 2012

Human Beings as Development Officers for the Kingdom of God

Genesis 1 tells us that God is a God who has chosen to move from negative to positive. Specifically, in the creation of the world, God moved the world from darkness to light, from disorder to order, from emptiness to the fullness of life … through the power of his word and Spirit. The tenfold and God said of Gen 1 testifies that God created the universe through his word, and that the key to life in this universe is the word that created this universe, the word of God the Creator.

If God is into movement—moving his world from darkness to light, from disorder to order, from emptiness to fullness, from non-life to life—and if this is achieved through God’s word, then we have to say that God’s word is the key to the development of the universe. This means that God’s word is the key to the development of God’s purposes for Planet Earth and the human race.

It is important to note that Gen 1–2 communicates the idea that God has enlisted the human race to participate in this divine plan for the world. God created the world with a view to its development; and God wants us, in fact he created us human beings, to play an important part in its development. Human beings can be thought of, therefore, as being development officers for the kingdom of God.

Governments around the world have established agencies to promote sustainable world development, but without the word of God at their heart any development that these agencies may be able to achieve will not be sustainable from God’s eternal perspective. If the account of Gen 1–2 is true, then true world development must be connected in with God’s word.

Our job description as development officers for the kingdom of God is given in Gen 1:28. This verse has been called the creation mandate or sometimes the cultural mandate, because it describes our task as human beings: “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Gen 1:28). In summary: have babies, and fill the earth, taking the rule of God with you as you go.

In effect the job of the human race from the beginning has been to spread out throughout the whole world, expanding the borders of the garden of Eden as we go. Our job is to build the kingdom of God on earth as the human population increases by taking the enlightening, ordering, and life-giving power of the word of God out into all the world.

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