"Dominion or Destruction"
May 4, 2010
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 (KJV)
Thailand says the confiscated shipment was valued at 70 million baht. Of course, when you translate the baht -- which is that country's form of currency -- into U.S. or Canadian money, it's $2.2 million.
Thailand says the confiscated shipment weighed in at 1,380 kilos or 3,058 pounds. That's a lot of weight, especially when you realize a lot of elephants died to make that poundage.
Perhaps a word of explanation is in order: Thailand recently confiscated a shipment of elephant ivory -- illegal elephant ivory.
I've seen pictures of officials standing by that captured shipment. There are some very small tusks in that pile of ivory. Very small tusks, of course, represent the slaughter of some very young elephants - some very endangered elephants.
Now I can understand if you're asking, "What's the big deal about a few animal tusks?" To that I'd reply, the big deal is this: it shows how readily men can disregard God's commands.
A long time ago, the Lord gave instructions to our original ancestors. He said, "replenish the earth and subdue it: have dominion over . . . every living thing that moveth upon the earth."
God's intent was that we take care of what He has given us and not exterminate the world's largest earth mammal for the purpose of providing some trinkets for visitors to Thailand.
This all goes to prove people are still disregarding God's commands.
It also means this world still very much needs a Savior. It needs a Savior to carry the sins of humanity. It needs a Savior to forgive us and change us. It needs a Savior to straighten out those who would prey on pachyderms and exterminate elephants to pick up a few dollars.
Now it's perhaps unlikely any of the readers of the Daily Devotion will ever be in a position to help save African elephants from poachers. Still, that doesn't mean we are completely off the hook.
We have a job to do. No, that job isn't "going green," though some might want to travel that path.
As God's redeemed, we can still set the example and remember the words God gave to Adam and Eve: we can subdue; we can have dominion, and we can replenish. It's a balance -- a balance that glorifies the Lord who is the giver of every good and perfect gift . . .
. . . including elephants.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me live as a redeemed brother of the Savior and a faithful caretaker of the world You have given me. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries