Friday: Further Thought – God or Mammon?

Further Thought: Stewardship, as we understand it, started with God placing Adam and Eve in a beautiful garden home that they were to care for and manage (Gen. 2:15). In this perfect environment they were to make the garden livable, a task that could not have been that hard. God authorized their new role and taught them about their responsibility. Taking care of Eden would give meaning and bring happiness to the new family.

Spectacles on Bible

Image © Stan Myers from GoodSalt.com

The Hebrew verb for “dominion” (Gen. 1:26Gen. 1:28) means “to bring under control and rule.” This was, given the context, not a harsh dominion but a benevolent rule in caring for God’s creation. This responsibility has not stopped. In this environment Adam and Eve were to learn that God was the Owner, and they were His managers, or stewards. From the start God intended that Adam and Eve have positions of responsibility and trust but not as owners. They were to demonstrate to God that they were faithful to their tasks.

“Adam and Eve were given the garden of Eden to care for. They were ‘to dress it and to keep it.’ They were happy in their work. Mind, heart, and will acted in perfect harmony. In their labor they found no weariness, no toil. Their hours were filled with useful work and communion with each other. Their occupation was pleasant. God and Christ visited them and talked with them. They were given perfect freedom.  . . .  God was the owner of their Eden home. They held it under Him.” – Ellen G. White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 10, p. 327.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does the fact that God owns the world teach us about our basic responsibility when it comes to the environment? While we have to avoid the political fanaticism of some environmentalists who all but worship the creation itself, what should our attitude, as Christians, be toward taking care of the environment?
  2. Dwell more on the idea of God as a “jealous” God. It’s not always an easy concept to grasp, especially because in human terms we look at jealousy as something bad, as something to be avoided. How, though, can we understand this idea as it is applied to God without any of the negative baggage the word usually carries?
  3. How can we learn to distinguish between the proper use and enjoyment of the physical things that God has created and the abuse of those things? Why is making this distinction so important?

 

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons