2 JANUARY 365 Days with Calvin

God’s Provisions in Nature

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

suggested further reading: Psalm 8

God here confirms what he said before about dominion. Man was created with the condition that he should subject the earth to himself; but now he is put in possession of his right, when he hears what has been given to him by the Lord. Moses expresses this more fully in the next verse when he says that God is granting to man the herbs and the fruits. It is of great importance that we touch nothing of God’s bounty but what we know he has permitted us to touch since we cannot enjoy anything with a good conscience unless we receive it as from the hand of God. Therefore Paul teaches us that in eating and drinking, we sin unless faith be present (Rom. 14:23).

We are instructed to seek from God alone whatever is necessary for us. In the very use of his gifts, we are to meditate on his goodness and paternal care. For God in effect says, “Behold, I have prepared food for you before you were formed. Acknowledge me, therefore, as your Father, who has so diligently provided for you when you were not yet created. Moreover, my care for you has proceeded still further. It was your business to nurture the things provided for you, but I have taken even this charge upon myself. Wherefore, though you are, in a sense, constituted the father of the earthly family, it is not for you to be over-anxious about the sustenance of animals.”

for meditation: God has wondrously provided for our needs and given us dominion over the earth he created. It is not, therefore, a sin to use what God has given for our use. Nevertheless, our dominion is to be benevolent and wise; we are not to abuse or recklessly consume God’s good creation but to care for it as good stewards.[1]

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 20). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

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