Often when I leave for work, I say goodbye to my wife and children by offering good wishes. Have you ever thought about the common phrase “have a nice day”? Grammatically, it’s an imperative or command like “be good!” The way it looks on paper it could be followed up with “or else” as in “have a nice day or else . . .” But no one ever says it that way. We say it more like “may you have a nice day.” We’re actually blessing one another in the form of a command.
In Genesis 1:28 we read about a blessing given in the form of a command. After creating humans male and female in His own image, God blessed them. The wording of this blessing is a command; so we often refer to it as the Creation Mandate.
Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Unlike our good wishes, God’s blessing carries the weight of a command. We shouldn’t resist His blessing from Genesis 1:28 and expect things to go well for us. For example, in Genesis 11 Noah’s descendants rejected God’s command and all gathered in one place to build the tower of Babel. As a result of their sin, God confused their language and sent the people throughout the world.
Unbelievers can share in God’s blessing by following the Creation Mandate. In fact, many do. In BJU Press science and math textbooks, we highlight how scientists and mathematicians use their knowledge of God’s world to “have dominion.” They use their skill to care for the creation and use the creation for others’ benefit. Many of those professionals following the Creation Mandate are experiencing the common grace of God’s creation blessing in their lives.
Because I’m human, the blessings I speak are little more than well-wishing. I may say, “I hope you have a nice day.” But while I’m at work, I have little immediate control over what happens at home, and some days my wife feels overwhelmed. In contrast, God’s blessing on the first man and woman had power behind it to confer that blessing on all of humanity.
God’s power is infinite, so His action in Genesis 1:28 reaches through time and space to all people. Not even the Fall overthrew His blessing to fill the earth and exercise dominion. The long line of impressive civilizations throughout history with all their remarkable achievements, technological advancements, and beautiful artwork evidences God’s power and kindness to humanity expressed in His first words to mankind.
As parents, we have a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate God’s blessing. We get to teach our children how to follow God’s blessing to care for the world. Since our teaching is influenced by the textbooks we use, it’s important to choose a homeschool curriculum that reinforces the truth of God’s creation blessing.