In November 2020, I was sent the following. I think it is an excellent, concise summary of much that is being said on this site.:
"The Bible says God gave us humans the animals and plants to dominate,in any way we wish, right? It's all for our benefit!"
"We might sense, instinctively, something is wrong with that view; however, the Bible doesn't tell us to save the polar bears or the Great Barrier Reef, so what's the big deal? To appreciate what is the "big deal," let's check out one of the most beautiful words in the Old Testament: "Radah." Several scriptures use this word, but let's look at those in Genesis 1:28 and Ezekiel 34:4.
"That Genesis verse is the so-called "creation mandate:" to "radah," or "rule over," the fish, the birds, and every land animal. Because it's God's first recorded command to humans, understanding it is central to loving God. That's the primary reason creation care should be a part of every church ministry; it's also why your creation care team keeps talking about it.
"What is that "ruling over"supposed to look like? Glad you asked, because that other instance of this "radah," in Ezekiel 34, tells us a great deal about the matter. In that chapter, God criticizes Israel's "shepherds" (leaders, especially kings) for failing to "radah" (rule) tenderly, wisely and lovingly. These "shepherds" took the "best things" for themselves, rather than feeding the "sheep," binding up the wounded, bringing the lost back to the fold, and protecting the "flock" from "wild animals."
"Having blasted the harsh, negligent, foolish and selfish "radah" of Israel's leaders, God promised (starting in Verse 10) to rescue these "sheep," and shower on them a contrasting, incredibly beautiful, good and affectionate "radah:" strengthening the weak, gathering the scattered, settling them all in an abundant and safe land, and ensuring they lack no good thing.
"From Ezekiel 34, then, we know there's a bad "radah" and a good "radah," and we can see there some clues about what each one entails. Thus, we can rule over creation poorly, but if we take God's lead and rule well, we will gain God's favor(and what could be better than that?).
"For other Bible verses that "flesh out" God's desires for how we "radah" over creation, please contact me at [via this website at
or anyone else on the creation care team."
Andrew Hartley, 2020.
Note: Andrew H had written that for his congregation's monthly newsletter, sometime in 2020. One of AH's friends, Steve, helped him with Hebrew words.
This page, URL= 'http://abxn.org/nv/ah/ruling.well.html',
is part of the on-going work in developing a 'New View' in theology and practice that is appropriate to the days that are coming upon us. Comments, queries welcome by emailing
Copyright (c) Andrew Hartley, 2020.
Written on the Amiga with Protext in the style of classic HTML.
Created: 4 November 2020 Last updated: