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God’s Image and Dominion over Creation

written by Youval Yanay
June 02, 2012

Recently our team went through an extended workshop on communication skills, by working together with a Christian professional horse trainer and coach. The treatment with the horses brought us to deeper understanding of ourselves and our interactions with one another.

Genesis 1:26 – Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth…”

This verse has two parts. First, we are made in God’s image. Secondly, we are to rule over the animals. The first part causes and enables the second part to take place. God is the perfect ruler over the creation. He knows His creation, upholds it, and works in harmony with it.

Taking dominion over the creation means to be over and above the creation; to understand more, to love more, and to be more confident. That is our rightful position as being made in God’s image. It does not mean to abuse, curse, or harm God’s creation; nor to be alienated and separated from it. In order to take dominion correctly, God gives us His own image and likeness.

God has subjected and submitted the creation to us. The welfare of the planet is dependent upon the ability to fulfill our destiny as God’s children (Romans 8:19-22). Our successfully or unsuccessfully taking dominion over the earth determines the condition of the planet.

Likewise, the condition of the creation reflects our being made in the creator’s image. Our ability to take dominion correctly over the creation reflects the degree to which we are fulfilling our calling in God’s image. Dealing with creation is a test of our own image and spiritual condition. How do we appear as reflected in creation’s mirror?

Are we in the image and likeness of God? Are we in right relationship to God’s creation? To what degree are we upholding, understanding and ruling the creation? By seeing the reaction of the creation to us, our own hearts are exposed as to whether we are fulfilling God’s first commandment and mandate.


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