November 16, 2015
READ: Psalm 8:1-9
You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority (v.6).
Bees can identify certain scents from nearly 3 miles away. Because of their keen sense of smell, ability to fly and minimal bodyweight, they make ideal bomb-sniffers. Croatian scientist Nikola Kezic has trained bees to detect TNT—an explosive used in his country’s many active landmines. He trains the bees by mixing tiny amounts of TNT with sugar. When the bees are released over a minefield, they’ll fly to areas where they smell the explosive—hoping to find some sweet dessert!
The ability to train insects and animals points us back to the beginning of time when God told humans to govern the earth. They were to “reign over the fish in the sea, the birds . . . and all the animals that scurry along the ground” (Genesis 1:28). Although Jesus has always sustained the earth (see Colossians 1:17), God has given us the authority to harness the natural world for our benefit.
Our God-given status in the world is part of a larger hierarchy. It’s no surprise that God is at the top! In Psalm 8, David wrote, “O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens” (v.1). Beneath God are angels, then humans (Hebrews 2:7): God “crowned [us] with glory and honour” (Psalm 8:5). Then we have all other creatures. God “gave [us] charge of everything [He] made” (v.6).
With authority comes responsibility. Caring for the earth and its creatures is a good thing. We can adopt a pet, plant a garden, use energy wisely—remembering that the earth was designed as a home for humans as well as all of His creation. And as we care for it, may we do so by worshipping God. For “[His] majestic name fills the earth!” (v.9).
—Jennifer Benson Schuldt
365-day-plan: Acts 27:1-26
Read Psalm 104:24-30 for more on the earth’s association with its Creator. Look up Deuteronomy 4:16-19 to see how God warned the Israelites about falling in love with creation.
Why might some people be inclined to worship creation rather than the Creator? Where’s the line between caring for the earth and worshipping it?