Ecclesiastes 3:16–4:3; Psalm 148; Revelation 5:13 (read online ⧉)
Long has human pride (and bad interpretation) taught humanity that we were to dominate Creation. Even when this interpretation came to the forefront in thinking, Creation was pretty brutal: typhoons, hurricanes, floods, droughts, pestilence, insect swarms, disease, and so on.
Humanity has, for far too long, focused on dominance. The domination of other humans, especially through war, has been one example. The other is the attempt to contain Creation. Our forms of agriculture are predominately formed as an attempt to mitigate the disasters of Creation, with some success. Other attempts such as damn and levees don’t work as planned.
Humanity’s attempt to control fire has been somewhat successful. Then again, the regular summer fires show that things aren’t really under control.
Ecclesiastes puts us into perspective. While humanity does have the Imago Dei (Image of God) imprinted in us, this doesn’t mean that domination is the way. We became obsessed with power over others, rather than God’s overwhelming love.
While talking about the reality that we all pass away, just as the animals do, isn’t all bad. Often, it is our mortality that drives us forward.
Fantasy writers long understood the danger of not fearing death. They wrote about “elves”. These magical long-life creatures would become…bored. They could live almost forever (from a human point of view). Mortality just wasn’t there. Our mortality helps us live.
“Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.” —Westminster Shorter Catechism
If Ecclesiastes is correct, and the Westminster Shorter Catechism is correct (in larger concept, at least), then Creation’s purpose is also to glorify God.
As we read in Psalm 148, this isn’t a stretch. The list of non-human worshippers of God is impressive. Even that which we do not consider alive praises God. In Revelation, it cannot be ignored that all of Creation bows down to Jesus on the throne.
What does this have to do with you? Pride. Jesus submitted to death. We are called to live similarly. While we have the Imago Dei, that does not give us license to do as we wish. It means we have a responsibility to serve.
Holy Spirit, convict us of our pride. Convict us of our desire to put others down. Convict us of our desire to raise ourselves over others. Give us the conviction to lay down at your feet. Amen.
1) Why might serving Creation be important?
2) What does serving Creation look like?
3) How does or did God serve Creation?