Gen 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
I attended a conference today which continues tomorrow. The presenter was working through Genesis and how he evangelises prison inmates using the first 3 chapters, showing how God was at work in the chaos right from the very beginning, and then relates to them by showing them how God is at work in the chaos of their own life.
A number of light bulbs went on. One of them was to do with this passage and how it fits within the context of the whole narrative of the Pentateuch. Moses was telling the Israelites their story. They had come out of Egypt, and in many ways they wanted to return to the vomit from which they were rescued. I believe the context of this passage is to speak directly into the issue of idolatry. Moses tackled all of the Egyptian God’s. Proving that the one and only true God is the one and only true God.
The Egyptians worshiped nature gods. Gods of the sea, land, heavens and animal life. In the process of their worship, they became subjugated under those creations. But, in this passage, the author is stating that the only one they were to be subjugated to, was the creator and not the created.
This is what idolatry does – it subjugates us into bondage to things that shouldn’t.