Subdue and Replenish

Today’s Passage – Genesis 1 – 3 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 1 – 2Proverbs 1Psalms 1 – 5)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Deuteronomy 32:4

Read the “0101 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from today’s reading – “In the Beginning;”He Is Still Creating Me;” “Let There Be Light;” and “Just Don’t Do It”

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)

This morning, on this first day of 2020, I want to start with a little Bible study from Genesis 1, and then move into a practical devotional thought from the passage.

The word “replenish” in its exact form is only found twice in the Bible: here and in Genesis 9:1 where God commands Noah to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” The word “replenish” is interesting. According to Websters American Dictionary of the English Language (1828 Edition), it means “to recover former fullness,” which is pretty much how we use the word today. The Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (2003) gives as its first definition: “to fill with persons or animals.” The Strongs Concordance also defines the Hebrew word (מָלָא – male’) as “to fill, or be full.”

Perhaps you are wondering as to why I am offering this word study on “replenish.” The reason is that there are some Bible teachers that would tell us that the word “replenish” only means “to replace or recover from a former fullness,” and based on that narrow view of the word they have come up with some extraordinary theories regarding a previous pre-Genesis world that somehow was destroyed and needed to be recreated by God. C. I. Scofield, in his famous Scofield Reference Bible espoused his Gap Theory partially based upon his understanding of “replenish.” He believed that a previous creation existed on the earth prior to Genesis 1:2, and went through “a cataclysmic change as the result of a divine judgment,” due to the fall of Satan and his fallen angels. His view and others like it offered an explanation for the billions of years that scientists have demanded for the existence of the earth. Personally, I think this is a weak argument. I am an advocate for a young earth, created by God as little as six thousand years ago, and not millions or billions. While I am certainly not a scientist, I would say that there is valid scientific evidence that supports a young earth. See Institute for Creation Research and Answers in Genesis for more information from a scientific perspective.

Now for the practical application. Adam and Eve were given stewardship of a brand new world. They were given dominion and were commanded to subdue it, meaning to take responsibility for it and conquer it. They were to be fruitful and multiply in order to fill the earth with people, and they were to be good stewards of God’s Creation so that the earth would be filled with other good things as well.

Starting today, you and I have a brand new year. Last year is gone. It really matters not whether last year was filled with victories or defeats, we need to move forward in the perfect will of God in the future without dwelling in (or on) the past. Replenish (fill up) this new year that God has given you with all of the things that He would want you to include for a successful and prosperous year for His glory.

Fill the year with the Scripture. Spend some time in the Word of God every day. Follow a Bible reading schedule that will help you to stay on track. We cannot fulfill God’s will apart from His Word.

Fill the year (and yourself) with the Holy Spirit by yielding to His will and not your own. God commands us to “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). Let Him have control of your life.

Fill the year with Soul winning. Tell everyone you know about our wonderful Saviour. Let’s subdue 2020 for the Lord. Let’s let God work through us to give us dominion to “occupy” for Him this year.


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