God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth." Genesis 1:28 NASB
As I've been meditating on this scripture, searching cross references in the bible, and praying into it, the Lord has been opening my eyes to the depth of His command in this short passage. In Earth Worship and Child Sacrifice I noted:
Limiting families to one child, or intentionally not having children for the sake of the earth is an act of rebellion against God's command on man kind. In Genesis 1:28 we are called to both "be fruitful and multiply," and to rule over the earth... not the other way around. This is a command that the Lord never revoked as mandate for obedient living.
The persuasion of this age is that we should decrease in number in order to protect the earth. The thought process goes something like this:
The less people we have, the less we consume; the less we consume, the less we rely on fossil fuels; the less we rely on fossil fuels, the less the carbon emissions we release; the less carbon emissions, the greater chances of decreasing global warming.
This ideology is easy to absorb. It is easy to follow and in many ways it even makes sense, but the problem is that one simple verse, Genesis 1:28, indicates how directly opposite this mindset is from the word of God. It places us in submission to the needs of the earth, rather than recognizing the call of God to increase in number and "subdue" the earth. Anything that is opposite of God's word is a doctrine of demons, which deems this logic as deception.
This idea, "fill the earth", occurs all throughout the bible. In Genesis 9:1 God blesses Noah and commands him and his sons to "fill the earth." Again He reiterates in verse 7, "Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it." In Leviticus 26:9, the Lord states "I will turn toward you, make you fruitful and multiply you" indicating that an increase of number is related to His favor. Psalm 127:3-5 confirms this belief. "Children are a gift from the Lord," He says, and "Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them."
Not only does the Lord desire that the earth be filled with his children, but He too desires to fill the earth. The Lord proclaims in Numbers 14:21 that His "glory fills the whole earth." The Psalmists agree rejoicing "May the whole earth be filled with your glory," (72:19) and "the earth is filled with your love!" (119:64) The Prophet Habakkuk even states this claim in the midst of a harsh word, "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. " (2:14) "His glory fills the heavens and His praise filled the earth (3:3)
The Lord desires to increase His presence through out the earth and one means of doing this is to increase His people. While the great commission is a great means of increase, it does not negate the Lord's request for godly offspring. As Candice and Steve Watters mention in their book Start Your Family, raising children to be disciples is even a means of participating in the great commission. One does not replace the other.
Any increase in population that we've experienced in the last century has not been related to increases of birth rates, but rather increases in life span. According to Phillip Longman, author of The Empty Cradle: How Falling Birth Rates Threaten World Prosperity, we are actually in an age of detrimental depopulation that is threatening economic systems world wide. Longman's research indicates that woman need to have 2.8 children to maintain population. Currently, in American the birthrate is 2.02 children per women, and in Europe its even lower at 1.3 children per women. With less children, who will care for an aging population that will continue to live longer and longer as medical advancements increase?
And the biblical truth of our increasing life spans: even with an American life expectancy passing 78 years old, we are still living about 40 years less than the 120 years Lord has blessed us to live. Providing us with a lifespan that is much longer than what we are experiencing now, the Lord has still called us to "be fruitful and multiply." We will not out-populate the Lord's purposes for the earth.
Click here to listen to a podcast of Candice and Steve Watters interviewing Phillip Longman. (Scroll to 14:00)
Earth Worship and Child Sacrifice
Start Your Family - Review
Deceived by Social Justice? - Part 1