The Garden of Eden - Adam Takes and Relinquishes Dominion

God Gives Adam Dominion in the Garden of Eden but through Sin He Relinquished Authority

Creation and Youth
In chapter one of Genesis, God's activity on the sixth day is culminated with His masterwork, Man and Woman. It was God's plan to have His Man to rule over all of the earth, to be the representative of God in heaven. “Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.&rdquo Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26, 28)

God originally gave Adam and Eve dominion. Dominion means to rule over, to be lord over, to dominate, to reign. For a brief, unspecified time, Adam and Eve enjoyed their God-given rulership, and had a taste of what God's people will experience in the future. God crowned Adam and Eve with glory and honor. “You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen -- even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas.” (Psalm 8:6-8) But when Adam and Eve disobeyed God's command and ate of the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam transferred all dominion and authority to God's enemy, the Devil. In Luke 4:6, when Jesus Christ was being tempted by the Devil, he said to Jesus, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.” Jesus did not question the legitimacy of his claim.

Kings of various countries or geographical areas exercised dominion. Their dominion not only signified their authority to rule over their subjects, but over all of the territory within their kingdom. In Psalm 72, David wrote with his son, Solomon, his successor, in mind. He was also writing prophetically about Jesus Christ. “Give the king Your judgments, O God, and Your righteousness to the king's Son. He will bring justice to the poor of the people; He will save the children of the needy, and will break in pieces the oppressor. In His days the righteous shall flourish, and abundance of peace, until the moon is no more. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him, and His enemies will lick the dust. Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him; All nations shall serve Him. His name shall endure forever; His name shall continue as long as the sun. And men shall be blessed in Him; All nations shall call Him blessed.” (Psalm 72:1, 4, 7-9, 11, 17)

With the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the penalty for sin was paid, thereby restoring to Christians all that Adam lost in the garden due to sin. Spiritually, Christian believers again have dominion, power and authority that they can exercise over the adversary and his realm. Ephesians teaches that, with the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, Jesus Christ is “far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 1:21; 2:6)

Today, God's people legally have the dominion that Adam relinquished in Eden. “For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17) In the future, with the new heavens and new earth, God's redeemed will have dominion forevermore. “For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:9, 10)

Written by: Pete Miller