“Stewardship And Freedom!”(Gen.2:4b-17).
Genesis chapter two should not be seen as another creation story as it is often the case, but rather, it is “the beginning of human history.”
“The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.'”
The first duty of humans is work and taking care of the rest of creation – at least that’s what God told Adam.
We are stewards taking care of what does not belong to us – even when we claim ownership of it. You may claim ownership of the most expensive house furnished with exquisite taste, but you are only a temporary tenant. Enjoy whatever it is now as long as it lasts, provided you are even able to; because most times we are just like the wise fool who after gathering his rich harvest and put in barns, he crossed his leg and said to himself that his moment of merriment had arrived. “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you…”(Lk.12:16-21).
Each time something fragile is packaged in a carton, it is written on the carton, “Fragile, handle with care.” Yes, we are stewards of God’s creation and we must handle with care.
Stewardship requires accountability. Taking care of what does not belong to you means you will give an account to the owner, and that someday the owner will take back what belongs to him.
After all our sleepless nights at gathering and acquiring, sometimes fighting and killing in the process, we leave it all behind for the owner to do with it as he pleases. Vanity of vanities!
The other unique lesson from this beginning of human history is God’s gift of freewill to humans. The LORD told Adam, “You are free to eat…” To be free is to be able to act as one wishes and freewill is “the power of acting without the constraint of necessity…” It is the ability to act at your own discretion.
There is however a limit, a boundary within which one has to be free. God did not only say, “You are free to eat…;” he set a limit when he said, “but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
Going beyond that limit was to attract a calamitous punishment upon one’s self! And so, here we are, because we went beyond bounds!
Thanks still to the LORD that in his love grace has found us where we have been out of bounds to bring us back to where we are free again to be what God wants us to be.
Let us remind ourselves: We are stewards of God’s creation and we must handle with care. We are free but we must excercise that freedom within the limits which God has set for us, because death is the price we pay for going off limits.
Weekend prayer: Holy Spirit lead us to function within the limits of our freedom as we excercise our stewardship over creation. Amen!
Have a blessed day! Peace be with you!
Rev Babila Fochang.