Related Verses: Gen 1:26-28; Ps 8:3-8; Gen 2:15; Rom 8:20-22; Ex 20:1-17; Rom 1:25; 2 Thess 3:10
The lesson this week asks us to reflect on a word that usually has some rather negative connotations, the word “dominion.”
- Talk about the usual meaning of the word “dominion” and the various connotations that are usually associated with it.
According to the Genesis 1:26-28, the humans God created were given “dominion” (KJV language) over the earth. The kind of dominion envisioned here is not the adverse sort of dictatorship-style of things as much as it is the responsibility to nurture, care for, and administer the functions of creation at least as far as humans can do that. Notice in particular the comment about caring for and dressing the garden.
- What do you make of the fact that the dominion in Genesis was given to both the man and the woman. In other words, the elements of dominion were given equally to Adam and to Eve. What points to you take from this?
- Within what limitations do you think this dominion had to be exercised? What was appropriate for Adam and Eve to do and what was not appropriate?
- What does the fact that dominion was given to the humans say about their place in the created order?
- What kind of responsibilities come with privilege?
- What is the worst “sin” a person with dominion can make? What are the effects of this bad behavior likely to be on those under their dominion?
- What might we conclude about the responsibility to care of this earth given that originally, dominion was given to humans?
According to the biblical story, when Adam and Eve sinned, they lost their dominion. It was taken from them, or it slipped from their grasp and Satan became the one who usurped it claiming to be the ruler of the earth. Here is the foundational source of a lot of the troubles we see in the world.
- If it is God’s intention to restore this dominion to humans, what is that likely to involve?
- What should be the role of the gospel in restoring the relationship of men and women given that their original dominion was shared?
- How far do you think the gospel can take us toward restoring the ideal?
- How can humans prevent themselves and each other from abusing the privileges that come with dominion?