“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 verse is often called the dominion mandate and is repeated and amplified in Genesis 9:1-7. The purpose is clear: accept the responsibility to bring into subjection all of Earth’s systems and creatures, effectively managing its resources, growing and expanding until the earth is filled with the fruits of that labor.
Humanity’s first job description: When God made the garden “eastward in Eden” (Genesis 2:8) and placed Adam there, Adam was to “dress [serve] and keep [guard]” that special and lavishly designed estate (Genesis 2:8-15) in the unique role as initial occupant but more broadly as God’s steward for Earth. There were no instructions on how to serve and guard, only the general “orders” from the Owner to the steward.
Humanity’s implied responsibility: Since there were no instructions about the functioning systems of Earth, Adam had to first learn about the earth’s systems and processes (science), and then organize and utilize the discoveries in productive ways to help others and honor the Creator (technology).
The information about those practical inventions and products of technology had to then be accurately disseminated to everyone through business, education, communication, transportation, etc.
And finally, both the information and inventions had to be received so that the divine evaluation (“very good”) was detailed in works of music, art, and literature, glorifying and praising God for all He had done in creating and making all things.
The ongoing responsibility is still in effect in us “as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10). HMM III
From Days of Praise