A powerful king had long ago instituted a culture that his family lived by and was known for, and he wanted it to continue in other dominions. He and his family travelled to an uninhabited place and established themselves there. Together, they set out the form that the culture of the land and its inhabitants should take.

When the land was prepared, they established the family chosen to represent them and installed them with a good relationship with all the livestock that had already been settled.

The king treated the newly settled man, together with his wife, as his son and gave him the rights of royalty. He also gave his new family responsibility for what he had established.

"I want you to take control of all we have here and I and my family have placed you in control." said the King, "All rights are yours so long as you continue to uphold the culture we have established. We have lived by our cultural standards through vast challenges, and it is in all our interests for it to continue," he advised.

"Sure, Dad, all you taught me is here in my heart," replied the new son. "I will live by what I have learned from you. Then together, we will continue what you have established and keep it up to standard."

"Be sure you include all who come after you, son, and we will keep in regular contact with you. Remember, you have huge responsibilities. And, son," warned the Father, "do not change anything I have taught you even if something else appears to be better. We will call in again very soon," the Father concluded as he shook hands with a smile and he and his family left.

And so the role of guardianship was transferred to the son and his wife. They were to share duties and to live in harmony with everything around them in honour of the commitment given to them.
From their very first moments together, the man and his wife shared ideas and activities. They walked together everywhere, discussing the landscape with its gentle waterways and its vegetation. They admired the tall trees and became particularly conscious of how the creatures reacted to them and how friendly they were.

They did not realize that the creatures in this place had never known the horror of a predator. Nothing had ever threatened them so they were totally at ease with whatever the man and his wife did. They came close and enjoyed their company as only a stress free creature can.

This is exactly what God planned when he created the world and made the man and woman in his image. God knew what could go wrong if any of his directions were ignored or changed, and he placed a warning in the hearts of the man and his wife. The warning was that they were to have no other gods. That is, they were not to put any voice above the voice of their Creator.

The Father, the Creator and the Holy Spirit made man "in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion" over the earth and everything in it. He explained their mandate, blest them, then told them to multiply and have dominion over all he, God, had put there: Genesis 1:26-30.
The Lord of the Universe established the culture of this new world and made provision that nothing was to interfere with it.
 
Would you please pray for us all to understand His culture so that we might choose to enjoy it above all others?

Elizabeth Price

(To access the entire "Culture Close Up" mini-series, please click here.)