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Devotional Biology

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  1. Introduction & Preface
    4 Steps
  2. Chapter 1: Biology for the Believer
    15 Steps
  3. Chapter 2: The Living God: Biological Life
    14 Steps
  4. Chapter 3: God’s Glory: Biological Beauty
    6 Steps
  5. Chapter 4: God is Distinct: Biological Discontinuity
    9 Steps
  6. Chapter 5: God is Good: Mutualism & Biological Evil
    10 Steps
  7. Chapter 6: God is Person: Animal Behavior & Personality
    17 Steps
  8. Chapter 7: The Provider God: The Anthropic Principle
    12 Steps
  9. Chapter 8: The Sustaining God: The Biomatrix
    8 Steps
  10. Chapter 9: God is One: Monomers, Biosimilarity, and Biosystems
    8 Steps
  11. Chapter 10: God is Three: Biodiversity
    11 Steps
  12. Chapter 11: God of Hierarchy: Biological Hierarchy
    13 Steps
  13. Chapter 12: The Almighty God: Metabolism
    8 Steps
  14. Chapter 13: God the Word: Animal Communication & Language of Life
    8 Steps
  15. Chapter 14: God’s Fullness: Reproduction, Diversification, and Biogeography
    10 Steps
  16. Chapter 15: The History of Life
    9 Steps
  17. Appendix
    4 Steps
Lesson Progress
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The following transcript was automatically generated and may contain errors in spelling and/or grammar. It is provided for assistance in note-taking and review.

Because we are rulers over the creation, it explains actually a number of things, a number of the characteristics of creation itself. When humans got to a point where they sinned, which was not God’s original intention, God ended up cursing the entire creation. Why is that? It seems like an odd thing. Humans sinned. The creation is cursed. And the reason is because there’s a theme that runs through Scripture. That when a ruler disobeys God, the ruler is chastised for that by the kingdom that the ruler rules over being cursed, or encountering bad times.

In contrast, if a ruler is following God, the nation, those things that are ruled over by the king, are blessed. We have blessings when the king is doing well. We have curses when the king is not. Because humans are put as kings over the entire creation, When humans sinned, God cursed the entire creation. And this is a consequence of the fact that humans were created to be rulers. The universe was created to be ruled over by humans. And we see this in Romans chapter 8, for example. It says, “The earnest expectation of the creature waits for the manifestation of the sons of God.” The entire creation, every creature in the creation sitting on the edge of its seat, waiting for something. The earnest expectation of the creature is for what? What are they waiting for? It says the creature is made subject to vanity. The reason it’s waiting is because it’s been made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who has subjected the same in hope. Because the creature itself is going to be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Here’s the problem. According to this passage, every part of the universe has been subjected to the bondage of corruption. Because of man’s sin, the entire creation was cursed, and that curse remains on the creation for as long as people are still sinners. They’re waiting. The entire creation is waiting to get this curse off of them. And when does it happen? When we are glorified. “When the king fell, the creation was cursed. When the king is glorified, the creation is lifted of the curse.” So this is an extraordinary passage and basically a theme of the whole all of Scripture. There’s creation, there’s fall of the creation, and a curse of the creation. There is glorification of humans and release on the creation of the curse that’s upon it. It’s the major theme of Scripture. You see also the effect of humans being rulers in the Flood. When humans after the Fall went back to sinning and kept sinning and got worse and worse, it got to a point where God said, “I’ve had enough. I’m going to destroy man whom I’ve created from off the face of the earth.” But he goes further than that. He says, “I will destroy man and beast whom I have created.” He is going to destroy everything on the planet Earth because of the sin of humans. Because of the sin of the King, the entire creation, in this case, the entire earth, all the animals, all the plants are destroyed because of man’s sin. And this is a consequence of the fact that God made human beings to be rulers over those things that are made. And he did this again, thinking back to Genesis 1.26. That was God’s intention. He said, “Let us make man in our image, and let them have dominion.” And then when he created them in verse 28, he commanded them, “You are to rule.” So he made them to rule, and he commanded us to rule. And the way we rule impacts the creation. As I said, when humans sin, the creation is cursed. When humans got to the point where he had to obliterate humans, he has to obliterate the creation with it. You think about this. If we are rulers, you are rulers, I’m a ruler, we don’t have any choice in the matter. We are rulers. So we’re either going to rule well, or we’re going to rule poorly. But either way, we are rulers. If we rule poorly, The creation suffers as a consequence. We have a responsibility. It’s an amazing privilege to be a ruler over the creation. But with it comes a responsibility. We must rule well, or the creation suffers as a consequence. We need to learn how to rule well. So the idea then is, we know we’re rulers. We don’t have a choice in that. but we need to learn how to become good rulers. In the Bible, if you go around looking for what a good ruler is, what the definition of a good ruler is, what is a good ruler supposed to do, you’ll find references to something the Bible calls Shepherd Kings. When Solomon gives advice to his son about how to rule, he gives the example of a shepherd. The perfect ruler, the best ruler is one who rules as a shepherd rules over his sheep. And you see reference to this repeatedly. For example, God is called the Shepherd of the people of Israel. Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd, the Good Ruler over his people. God commanded the rulers of Israel to rule as good shepherds. What is a shepherd king, then? What does the Shepherd King do? Shepherd King is one who, think about the shepherd taking care of his sheep. If something comes to attack the sheep, the shepherd protects the sheep. In fact, you look at that beautiful passage where David is being considered for the king position. He is a shepherd. He spends his time being a shepherd. We’re told that when he talks about his own experience as a shepherd, he said that he fended off, he killed a lion, and he killed a bear who made an attempt to destroy a sheep.

Now think about this. Humans are not as important as sheep. They are not equal with sheep. But David put his life in danger to protect the sheep. He has rule over the sheep. He’s a shepherd over the sheep. So it’s his responsibility to take care of them, which includes putting his life at risk to protect the sheep, even though the sheep are not as good, great, as important as he is.

The Good Shepherd protects those things that he rules over, even though those things are not as important as the king is. The Good Shepherd also looks out for. Take Psalm 23 as an example. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want,” and so on and so forth. He leads me by the still waters. He leads me to places to drink. He leads me into green pastures to eat. The Good Shepherd is one who provides for those things he’s ruling over for the sheep. The Good Shepherd is serving those things he rules over. The sheep. The Shepherd King is one who serves those he rules over, but also serves God. So the perfect Shepherd King is the one who serves both God and the subjects. So this is in big contrast to a normal king, to a usual king, of a stereotype king who serves himself. He amasses his own wealth. He doesn’t go out to battle so that he doesn’t get hurt in the process. He doesn’t serve his people. He serves himself. That’s sort of the stereotypical king. And it’s interesting in Scripture that people when they wanted a king, such as the people after the Flood wanted a king, The people of Israel at one point wanted a king.

In each case, they chose a person who was basically a killer. After the Flood, we learn about a person who became the world ruler right after the Flood. People wanted a ruler. They’re scared. They’re spreading out from the Ark, but they’re afraid. They don’t want to go across the planet because they’ve had this recent Flood. They want to stay together, and they want a king to protect them. So they choose a person by the name of Nimrod. And how does the Bible describe Nimrod? He’s a great and mighty hunter before the Lord. His profession? He’s a killer. He kills animals, I guess. I’m hoping that that’s what he means by being a hunter. They are impressed with a hunter. They think, well, a hunter, someone who can kill big animals and scary animals, that hunter can protect us. They chose a killer to protect him. When the people of Israel wanted a king, they chose Saul, who was head and shoulders above everyone else. He was a tall guy, big guy. They thought they would be protected by a strong person, by a person who was very strong and could keep them from their enemies. But when God chose a ruler for Israel, He chose David, who wasn’t big. He wasn’t strong, but he was a shepherd. He devoted his life to protecting, providing for, leading, and developing the sheep of his flock. Even though the sheep weren’t as important as he was, he was willing to put his life on the line to protect them. And that’s what we should do. “The shepherd king is one who serves God and the subjects, sensitive to the needs of the subjects, sacrifices himself for the subjects, and rules like God would rule.

” And this is another important point. I’ve heard people say, “Oh, well, we shouldn’t do that because that would be making God’s decisions for him, or it would be ruling as… That’s God’s job. Actually, God gave us the job of ruling. We should rule as God rules. We should try to imagine what it would be for a good God, a perfect God, one who loves his subjects. How would that God provide for his subjects, protect his subjects, and try to do the same thing? God created the universe, put us in charge. He wants us to rule as he would rule. That’s the perfect shepherd king. That is what we should be over the creation. But how do we do that? I believe the more we study, let’s say in this case, biology, the better we understand the organisms that we have rule over. We have rule over a lot more. So this doesn’t justify the biology. But our focus here is biology. Biology is a study of all the plants and animals that God has created. He made us ruler over all of those plants and animals. If we are to meet their needs, if we are to provide for them and protect them and nourish them, we need to better understand them.

Biology is a means by which we can better understand the biological subjects that we rule over so that we can be better kings. So a good reason for studying biology, for taking this class, is to better understand God’s organisms, the plants and animals He created, so that we can be better shepherd kings. We also need to be better stewards. Now we can turn to the scripture. There are some passages on stewardship. Here’s one. The Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward? “Whom his Lord shall make ruler over his household.” Notice the steward is a person. It’s a servant in a person’s house. The person in charge of the house makes the steward ruler over the house. Like Joseph, as a slave was made ruler over Potiphar’s house. What does the steward do? He’s made ruler to give them, that is the household, their portion of meat in due season. In other words, the steward is put in charge to make sure everybody gets fed in the house, to make sure everybody has their clothes clean in the house, to make sure that everyone has their beds made in the house.

The steward makes sure that the people of the household have everything they need. “Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when he comes shall find him so doing.” Now notice what’s happening here. the person in charge of the house puts the steward or the slave or the servant in charge of the house. And if the steward is a good steward, the owner of the house can go away. He can go on a business trip. He can be gone a week, a month. He can be gone a year. He can be gone two years. And if the steward is a good steward, the ruler of the house knows that his household is being taken care of. And the idea here is that when that owner of the house comes back, the owner is going to be very pleased if he finds the servant doing his job, taking care of the household that he was put in charge of.

“Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he has.” If that ruler comes back and sees the servant doing a good job, he’s going to say, “Well, I’m going to give you more responsibility. I’m going to put you in charge of everything.” But, and if that servant say in his heart, “You know, my Lord delays in his coming, and begins to beat the men’s servants and maidens, and begins to eat and drink,” satisfying himself, “and get drunk, the Lord of that servant will come in a day when he isn’t looking for him, and in an hour when he’s not aware, and cut him in sunder, and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his Lord’s will, and be prepared, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.” So here’s the situation. If you are a good steward, when the owner goes on a trip and comes back, that good steward is going to be found doing a good job, ruling over the household.

And if he’s found that way, he’s going to be promoted and encouraged. If, however, the steward finds that the ruler hasn’t come back yet and starts serving himself rather than the household, then when the owner comes back, that servant is going to be punished.

We are not supposed to be the second servant. We’re supposed to be the first servant. We’re supposed to be stewards, and we’re supposed to be good stewards. What is a steward? A steward is someone who rules over something that someone else owns. So God created this universe, and He put us as rulers over the creation He made. That makes us not just rulers over the creation, but stewards of the creation, because it isn’t our creation. It is God’s creation. And the steward is one who is condemned if he serves himself. He’s only commended if he serves the creation, those things that he’s been put rule over. And the steward is given the authority of the true owner. They can make contracts like the owner, and so on and so forth. So in that sense, it’s very much like kings. They’re put in charge of a country, and they’re commended for serving the needs of the country. Except that stewards go one step further because usually a king doesn’t have to be accountable to anyone. He doesn’t have to give an excuse for what he’s doing, because he’s the ultimate ruler. In the case of the steward, the true owner is above him. He’s accountable to him. So when the true ruler comes back, the steward is ready to say, “Here’s what I did, and here’s why I did it.” The more we study biology, I believe, the better stewards we can be. Because remember, we’re made to be rulers, but we’re rulers over something we don’t own. So we are made stewards. We need to be good stewards. So at some point, any point along the line, God can come up to us and say, “Okay, now how did you do in being ruler? How did you take care of your pets? How well did you take care of the things that you owned? How well did you take care of the plants and the animals that you came and cut? How well did you take care of the earth? How well did you take care of my creation? Because I put you in charge. A good steward is one that’s going to be able to be ready at any time to say, “Here’s what I did, God, and I did this for you. I ruled as you would rule,” and be pleasing to God as a consequence. That’s a fifth reason for studying biology. But there’s a sixth one that’s very much related. And it’s that stewards are called upon to do something more than just take care of things. They’re called upon to increase the things that they have been made rulers over. In Matthew chapter 25, We have a situation where a ruler, a house owner, gives to three stewards, three servants, three different sets of talents.

One he gives ten talents to, one he gives five talents to, one he gives one talent to. And he goes off on to his trip. He comes back from his trip, and he calls his three stewards in, his three servants in, and asks them to give an account for what they did with the things that he gave them.

So far, it sounds just like the steward we’ve just described. The person with ten talents, given ten talents, comes in and says, “What I have done is I invested the ten talents, and I’ve actually made ten more. So I give to you twenty talents.” And obviously the owner of the household in that case would be very pleased with that individual. The person who was given five talents comes and says, I invested my five talents and grew them into ten, and here are ten talents for you.

I’ve made five in your absence.” Again, the owner, even though it made only half as much as the other, is very pleased with the fact that he doubled the original amount given to him.

Then the one with the one talent comes in and says, “You know, I was afraid to invest this. I was afraid I might lose it. I was afraid I might lose it all together and then be able to give you nothing.” and then I’d be afraid of what you might do to me if that was the case. So I saved my one talent. I protected it. I kept it clean. I didn’t invest it. And here it is. This is the talent that you gave me. And that servant is condemned. He’s kicked out of the situation. His talent is given to the person that’s got ten talents. Fascinating. So not only should a steward be one who preserves, maintains, provides for, but a really good servant is one who invests in, takes some chances, and grows the things that his owner has to increase the value of those things.

We’ve been called to be rulers and stewards. We’ve been given this creation with a certain amount of beauty, a certain number of illustrations of God’s very nature. And we are called upon not just to preserve it so that other people can see those things, but to make it better, to make it more beautiful, to make more illustrations of God’s very nature, to teach other people to bring them up into a greater knowledge of God. Not just keep their same knowledge of God, but increase it. And so with that, we have a responsibility to enhance the beauty of the creation, to enhance the glory of God. See, I believe when God created the original creation, He put a lot of beauty into it. He put a lot of evidence of His character into it. But I believe he hid even more. It’s kind of like he gift-wrapped a bunch of beauty, a bunch of evidences of his very nature, a bunch of illustrations of his nature.

He put them in presents, and he gave us the ability to find the presents, unwrap them, and illustrate an even greater beauty, an even greater number of illustrations of his character then he put in the original creation.

God made this original creation awesome, but he gave us the ability to make it awesomer. He created the creation giving him a certain amount of glory, but he created the creation and us in such a way that we can bring him even more glory.

The more we study biology, I believe the more we can learn to enhance God’s glory. Not just preserve the creation, and bring glory to God from it, but be able to enhance the creation so that it brings even more glory to God.