podcast

#544 – Multiply and Fill the Earth (Genesis 1:28)

Pray The Word
Genesis
1
28
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“And God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the Earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the Earth.'”
(Genesis 1:28)

That’s a pretty remarkable verse when you think about it. God has created the heavens and the Earth and in the pinnacle of his creation, he creates man and woman in his image as a reflection of him. That’s verse 27. “God created man in his own image. In the image of God he created him. Male and female he created them.” Men and women created to uniquely reflect God in a way that nothing else in all creation reflects God in the same way. That we relate to God in a way that is totally different from everything else in all of creation.

Christians are commanded to take the gospel to image bearers who have not trusted in Christ, that they too may have salvation and be conformed more into the image of Christ.

Then, verse 28 says, “God blessed them.” This is the pure unadulterated blessing of God, goodness of God just flowing toward man and woman. God says to them, so his blessing is then followed by instruction, command. “Be fruitful and multiple and fill the Earth.” So, get the picture. God says, “I’ve created you in my image. Now fill the Earth with my image, with this unique reflection of my grace and my glory. I want my blessing spread throughout the Earth in this way.” So this is, in a sense, the creation mandate. Obviously the implications are physical, man and woman and marriage, and they’re to multiply and fill the Earth. But as we go throughout scripture from this point, we realize that this picture from the very beginning of the Bible is God’s continual desire all throughout the Bible. He wants his blessing, his grace, and his image bearers known all throughout the Earth.

This is why later on in Genesis 12 he says, “I want all peoples on Earth to be blessed through you, Abraham, and through my blessing on you.” We could go all throughout the Old Testament, see this, and then it’s not a coincidence that when Jesus comes in the New Testament and every Gospel account ends with this picture of now go into the world. Fill the Earth. Make disciples of all the nations. Make my blessing known among all the nations. Make my salvation, spread this good news of how people can be restored to relationship with God, restored into the image of Christ. This can happen among every people group on the planet everywhere. Go be fruitful and multiply. Church, fill the Earth with my grace, my blessing, for my glory.

Do you realize just wherever you are as you’re listening to this, you one, bear the image of God. Two, if you are a follower of Jesus, this is the whole point of salvation. We have been redeemed. We have been saved from our sins to be conformed into the image of Jesus. The whole goal of the Christian life is to look more and more and more like Jesus, but it’s not just us. We have been commissioned by God to fill the Earth, to multiply the grace and the blessing of God that we know in others’ lives. This is the great commission. Go and lead more and more and more people to know Jesus, to be conformed into the image so that the grace and the blessing and the glory of God spread throughout the Earth.

So, we pray. God, thank you for creating every single one of us. God, I just pray that people are listening to this right now would be freshly overwhelmed with the fact that they are made in your image, that they bear your likeness, that they, I, we all have a unique capacity to relate to you, even right now as we’re praying. This is because we’re made in your image. It’s so different from everything else in the world. Mountains don’t pray like this. We get to pray. We get to walk with you. So, we pray, oh God, that you would use our lives to lead more and more and more people to know you like this. God help us right where we live and wherever you might lead us in the Earth. We pray for the spread of your blessing, for the spread of your grace, for the spread of your salvation to multiply and fill the Earth. Help us to make disciples of all the nations.

God, help every single one of us to play our part in this grand commission, that it really has been there since the very beginning of the Bible. Help us to carry it out today. God, we pray that you might use us today to lead somebody else to faith in Jesus, to reconciliation to you, to being born again into your likeness and begin to grow to become more like Jesus and then lead somebody else to do that. God, please use us to do that today. Give us boldness, compassion to share the gospel, to share the good news of your blessing and your grace with others today. God, we pray that you would help us to do that right where we live and God we pray you would help us to do that among the nations. Help us to multiply and fill the Earth with your blessing, with the good news of your grace. That more and more and more people might know you and walk with you and be conformed to the image of your son. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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