The First Commission, the call to create

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. (Genesis 2:15)

What God created “in the beginning” is remarkable. But what’s equally remarkable is what he did not create. 

He created animals but he didn’t give them names. He created the ocean but he didn’t build a boat. He created stars but he didn’t make a telescope for others to marvel at his glory. Of course, God could have created those things. But instead, he chose to invite us to do that work with him. 

Today’s passage helps us see this beautiful truth. Before God put humankind in the Garden to “work it and take care of it,” it says that “no shrub had yet appeared on the earth…for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground” (Genesis 2:5).

God had no intention of working alone. He always intended for you and I to “work the ground”—to take the blank canvas he laid out “in the beginning” and fill it up. We see this explicitly in Genesis 1:27-28 which says that “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.’”

Pastor Timothy Keller says this is a call to “civilization, not just procreation.” It’s a call to cultural creation. You see, “the sixth day” wasn’t the end of creation. It was only just the beginning! It’s when God passed the baton to you and me and called us to create plants, art, telescopes, businesses, s’mores, cities, and families that reflect his glory.

When we understand that the call to create was God’s First Commission to humankind, we will view our work with God-ordained purpose, enthusiasm, and joy.

On April 19, I’m releasing a children’s book to help the kids in your life grasp that truth—to see that “when you work or you make something new, you are doing what God has made you to do. You are showing the world what your Father is like—a God who creates to bring people delight. And when you show others the Creator in you, you bring joy to the world—and to your Father too.”

Want your kids to embrace the call to create? Pick-up a copy of The Creator in You here.


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