Genesis 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." (ESV)
Contrary to what some environmentalists might think, God’s commission to us to subdue the earth is not a bad thing. According to the NET Bible notes, in Gen 1:28 one might paraphrase it as follows: “harness its potential and use its resources for your benefit.”
As Christians we should strive to be good stewards of the earth, yet maintain a biblical perspective that rejects the environmental extremist philosophy that sees humans as a cancer on the planet and of less value than animals.
As John Piper writes, “Since our being created in God’s image leads directly to our privilege and duty to subdue the earth, I take it that human vocation involves exercising a subordinate lordship over creation by which we shape and control it for good purposes. God takes man on as his deputy and endows him with God-like rights and capacities to subdue the world—to use it and shape it for good purposes.”
And what are those good purposes? Glorifying God and increasing our joy; providing for our needs and the needs of others; and spreading the Gospel message throughout all the earth for the increase of God’s Kingdom.