And God blessed them. And God said to
them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have
dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over
every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Two commands: (1) be fruitful, multiply and
fill the earth AND (2) have dominion and subdue over earth that you fill.
Each command with Two distinct parts: (1a)
be fruitful and (1b) fill AND (2a) have dominion and (2b) subdue.
1a – Don't just fill the earth, fill it
with fruitfulness. Don't just multiply something, multiply a particular kind of
something – fruitfulness
1b – Don't just be content to be fruitful
where you are, but be compelled to reproduce fruitfulness everywhere God has
given to us. Do not limit your concern only to a particular plot of land, but
expand by sending out some to guard and cultivate other plots so that the whole
earth brings forth its fruit.
2a – Don't just enjoy the land, rule over
it. You dishonor God when you either act like it's your world to rule how you
please or when you leave the world to rule itself as though you had better
things to do. The earth should not be abandoned or abused, but owned and
operated by those under the authority its Author.
2b – Don't be ignorant of the threats to
Eden. This warning to Adam was an indication of a threat to come. Adam was
given reason to believe that danger was about to enter his dining room. We must
sweat in times of peace in order to avoid blood loss during times of war. Tall,
strong walls are not often built when they are under attack. God here gives Adam a hint of things to come that will require force in
order to be subdued. This will not submit without a strong arm convincing it.
So during this time, we must build muscle.