Like you and the rest of the world, my dear wife and I have been wondering aloud about the Coronavirus — when it will end, will we survive, and how we will deal with it? She asked this simple question: “Does this not fall under the realm of the first commandment that God gave to us — to have dominion over all the earth? If so, does God not also offer us his wisdom and the ability to carry out his commands when we call on him?”
Yes, the Coronavirus no doubt is sourced in the thorns and weeds of Genesis 3. But we don’t see anywhere that God rescinded his command to have dominion over the earth – it just got more difficult. And like all of God’s good commands, this one requires his courage, wisdom, and grace to carry out as he intends.
Does God ever call us to do something and then not equip us? Does God require and not provide? Does he command and not enable?
God equipped Noah to build and ark and Noah had dominion over a flood. He equipped Moses to lead a nation out of slavery and Moses had dominion in this. He equipped Joseph with wisdom and Joseph had dominion over a seven year famine. He equipped David to use a sling and David had dominion over a bear, a lion, and a giant warrior. He equipped Paul with the “dominion” wisdom to tell his soon-to-be shipwrecked colleagues to eat some food because they would need it to survive and told the non-swimmers to grab planks and whatever floated to carry them to land and they survived.
So, in this time of great uncertainty and disruption, let’s hang on to this first command and continue to exercise it in our daily lives.
What can I do about the Coronavirus?
This does not mean that I am immune from dying from this virus – I am in the vulnerable age group. It simply means that no matter what is happening in life we are still called to live out this first command.
What does this look like? It means daily asking for God’s wisdom and power and then walking confidently into your day exercising dominion over the realm God has given to you — and helping others do the same. It means boldly asking God to give wisdom and ability to leaders and all those who are on the front lines fighting this virus. It means helping your friends and neighbors with the challenges they face. It means continuing to tackle the daily affairs of life – cooking good food, mowing the lawn, taking a walk, making your bed, and doing the right thing.
Remember, this sacred command to have dominion over our amazing world is a high calling, a privilege, and an opportunity to look to God for His help. He promises to provide us (through His Spirit) with the skills, direction, resources and strength we need to carry it out – even now, in the Coronavirus moment.
Words from scripture
Here are some good reminders:
- Genesis 1:26 ASV And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth,
- Psalm 8, 4-6 NIV what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet:
- Hebrews 13:21, NLT May he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.
- Ephesians 2:10, NIV For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
- Philippians 2:13, ESV For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.2 Peter 1:3, ESV His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.
- Romans 5:5, ESV And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Hebrews 13:21, NLT May he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.