And God Blessed Them

And God Blessed Them

All Satan’s craft and all sin’s deceit fail to undo the goodness of the blessing that God spoke in the beginning. The signs of the blessing are all around us, whether in fields of wheat ripe for harvest, in school playgrounds packed with screaming kids, in seeing-eye dogs serving with loyal zeal – all these and more remind us that God’s favor is still at work among the people he created and loved from the beginning.

Like so many others, January finds me in the book of Genesis once again. The creation account can seem so familiar, and yet every visit to these two chapters feels like entering a massive temple charged with mystery and grandeur. The words that struck me particularly this time were those spoken by God over the newly created pair of human beings:

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

What a weighty and marvelous thing it is to receive such favor from the eternal God. On the day that he made them, God looked at our first parents, and he blessed them. God loved them and delighted to shower his goodness upon them. This is God’s original disposition towards our family, and despite all that happened afterward, the blessing was never rescinded.

After the fall, when God comes to judge his creatures, we encounter the word curse for the first time. “Cursed are you above all livestock,” he says to the serpent, condemning it to crawl on its belly and to eat dust all the days of its life. Then he turns to the woman. She is sorely punished, stricken with pain and dysfunction in her most intimate relationships. She is not, however, cursed. The man too is bowed down with a heavy sentence, but he is not cursed either; the earth is.

The first person to be cursed is Cain (Gen 4:11), and after him many individuals and groups of people fall under God’s curse. But not once does he ever curse the entire human race the way that he blessed us in the beginning.

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