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God’s Plan of Cooperative Dominion
by Karen Theisen

The book of Genesis gives God’s plan in creating humankind and in it we discover that it was His goal to display His glory by creating two distinct genders that would cooperate together to display God’s dominion on earth.

Genesis 1:27 NLT [1]
So God created humans in His own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female He created them.

The male gender displays some of the traits of God such as provider and protector. Men in general have greater physical strength than women. The male brain structure facilitates linear thinking. This explains men’s ability to detach from emotions in crisis, allowing singular focus on survival. Anthropologists speculate this is why men have been the primary warriors in all cultures throughout history. God reveals Himself as a warrior.

Exodus 15:3
The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name.

The female gender also displays traits of our heavenly Father such as nurturer and care-giver, often involving self-sacrifice to safeguard the family unit. God has designed the female brain to have more connectors between the left and right hemispheres compared to males. This structural difference contributes to a woman’s greater ability to multitask, an important quality in the rearing of children and homemaking. God’s ultimate act of self-sacrifice was the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, whose life, sacrificial death, and resurrection, make it available for everyone who wants to become a member of the family of God to do so.

It is no coincidence that humans are most similar to our Creator-God within the covenant of marriage. Two distinct genders that both reflect characteristics of God come together in a celebration of covenant love and “create.” Children are the fruit of marriage and the primary reason why God warns against divorce.

Malachi 2:15
Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.

Though angels were created first, God’s intent in creating humankind was to reflect His glory in a unique way via the cooperation of two distinct human genders. God’s original mandate for males and females involved a cooperative dominion:

Genesis 1:28
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule…”

Our heavenly Father’s vision of men and women sharing dominion was impaired as a result of the fall, and so rather than cooperation, gender competition has occurred throughout history. Mutual dominion was often replaced by male domination. [2] The Old and New Testaments, however, are filled with records of obedient servant-leaders who walked out God’s vision of cooperative dominion.

Micah 6:4b
I sent Moses to lead you, also Aaron and Miriam.

Moses, along with his brother Aaron and his sister Miriam, played a key role in the Exodus of Israel from the bondage of slavery in Egypt. A prophet speaks for God. All three siblings are identified as prophets, though Moses’ humility contributed to God’s designation of Moses as the chief prophet (Num. 12:1-8). God, however, had no objection in empowering a woman to be a spokesperson for Him.

Exodus 15:20
Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand…

After Pharaoh’s armies were drowned and Israel was safely across the Red Sea, Moses and Miriam led the congregation in praise and worship. The “Song of Moses and Miriam” is recorded in Exodus 15:1-18 and Miriam’s song is recorded in Exodus 15:21. These siblings’ cooperation contributed to God’s plans of deliverance for Israel.

Another powerful partnership was Deborah and Barak. Deborah is the only judge in the book of Judges who is also identified as a prophet or prophetess. [3] Her prophetic counsel to Barak, the commander of Israel’s armies, led to the overthrow of Jabin, the Canaanite King who had harassed God’s people for twenty years.

Judges 4:4-7
(4) Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time.
(5) She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites came to her to have their disputes decided.
(6) She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The LORD, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead the way to Mount Tabor.
(7) I will lure Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.’”

Beaten down by twenty years of Canaanite oppression, Barak was initially leery of this daring military strategy. He obviously respected Deborah’s prophetic ministry and agreed to the plan with one contingency–that she would join him on the battlefield. Deborah challenged his initial lack of faith in God’s revealed plan by disclosing that military victory would be given to a woman. True to God’s prophetic Word, Sisera was defeated by a woman, Jael. Imagine the cultural disgrace for such a renowned Canaanite warrior! Judges 5:7 states Deborah arose as “a mother in Israel” while Barak is listed in the heroes of our faith.

Hebrews 11:32 and 33
(32) And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets [this would include the female prophets!],
(33) who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised;…

The fruit of Deborah and Barak’s alliance was many years of peace (Judg. 5:31b).

Let’s examine another instance of gender teamwork fulfilling God’s plan of dominion. King Josiah ascended to the throne of Judah when he was only eight years old, following the assassination of his idol-worshipping father, Amon. Amon had sapped the financial resources of the kingdom by paying tribute to foreign governments in order to secure political ‘peace.’ The child-king Josiah inherited a weak, spiritually anorexic people who not only were untrained in God’s Word but who had become well practiced in idol worship, sexual fertility rites, and even were sacrificing their children to pagan gods.

Jeremiah 7:30 and 31
(30) “‘The people of Judah have done evil in my eyes, declares the LORD. They have set up their detestable idols in the house that bears my Name and have defiled it.
(31) They have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire—something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind.

God, the ultimate protector and warrior of the family, is a holy God. The idea of sacrificing the fruit of marriage—children, as a form of worship was so foreign to God that He used the figure of speech tapeinosis (understatement) to emphasize it. He says He did not command it, but actually He had strictly forbidden such a practice (Lev. 20:1-4). This demonically inspired practice was well entrenched in Judah when Josiah ascended the throne. Josiah, however, had a hunger for the one true God which began to blossom when he was fifteen years old.

2 Chronicles 34:3 and 4
(3) In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David. In his twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places, Asherah poles, carved idols and cast images.
(4) Under his direction the altars of the Baals were torn down; he cut to pieces the incense altars that were above them, and smashed the Asherah poles, the idols and the images.

In the eighteenth year of King Josiah’s reign, at age 25, he ordered that the Temple be restored. In the process, the High Priest Hilkiah found the Book of the Law which had likely been hidden for safekeeping years earlier. Imagine the joy to again have access to God’s written Word! It was at this point that King Josiah realized that over and over again in the Mosaic Law God warned His people that if they abandoned Him, they would be destroyed.

2 Kings 22:11 and 13
(11) When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes.
(13) “Go and inquire of the LORD for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the LORD’s anger that burns against us because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.”

No doubt Josiah was concerned about being conquered and enslaved by the superpower, Babylon. Faithful Josiah was struck to the core by the Word of God, and sent a messenger to Huldah the prophetess to ask God about the situation.

The prophetess Huldah was the wife of Shallum, Josiah’s valet (2 Kings 22:14). Perhaps because of Huldah’s proximity to the king due to her spouse’s job, she, rather than Jeremiah was consulted to give a prophetic word. [4] It is significant that her gender did not preclude her from being thought capable of giving a prophetic word. Huldah confirmed that there would be wrath from the LORD, but added that it would not occur during King Josiah’s lifetime.

2 Kings 22:18-20
(18) Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard:
(19) Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people, that they would become accursed and laid waste, and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the LORD.
(20) Therefore I will gather you to your fathers, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place.’” So they took her answer back to the king.

The prophet Jeremiah confirmed that Judah would be destroyed.

Jeremiah 25:8 and 9
(8) Therefore the LORD Almighty says this: “Because you have not listened to my words,
(9) I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,” declares the LORD, “and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants…I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin.

The sin of the people of Judah had become so great, and they had ignored God’s warnings for so long, that He could no longer protect them from destruction. Yet even in terrible circumstances, His mercy and grace abounded, because He said Judah would only be a captive nation for 70 years, at which point Babylon would be destroyed:

Jeremiah 25:11 and 12
(11) This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
(12) “But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt,” declares the LORD, “and will make it desolate forever.

Eventually Jeremiah’s prophecy came to pass. Persia conquered Babylon, which is how the Judean Mordecai came to be in Persia during the reign of King Xerxes (Esther 2:5-7). Mordecai, with Esther’s collaboration, was instrumental in her ascent to the Persian throne as queen. Mordecai and Esther then worked together to interrupt the demonic plot of Jewish genocide that was mandated under unwitting King Xerxes (Esther 3:8-15). Satan’s plot behind the genocide was to destroy the Jews so that the Messiah could not be born. However, God acted powerfully through courageous people so that the Judeans were not destroyed, and eventually, from the nation of Judah and tribe of Judah, the Christ was born.

God’s plan to bring the Messiah was accomplished centuries after the Babylonian Captivity through the obedience of a simple Jewish girl, Mary, who with the partnership of her betrothed, Joseph, provided a protective family for our Jesus to mature until he was ready to begin the redemptive work of His real Father, God.

Satan was unable to prevent the birth or resurrection of our Messiah, Jesus. That does not mean that Satan does not work diligently to thwart God’s plans and harm His people in any way he can. Since early after the resurrection, Satan’s efforts to thwart God’s dominion can be seen in his attempt to silence half of the church via misapplication of Scripture (a tactic he attempted with Jesus in Matthew 4:6):

1 Timothy 2:11-13
(11) A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.
(12) I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.
(13) For Adam was formed first, then Eve.

In Timothy’s time, only males were allowed to attend academies of learning where they learned in quietness (also translated “tranquility”) and submission. Verse 11 means females should have similar educational opportunities in the Word. In verse 12, the Greek verb authentein, translated “to have authority over” could also be translated “to declare oneself to be the author of.” [5] The context of this section of Scripture refers to the Gnostic infiltration that asserted that women were created before men and were therefore superior to men. This falsehood is contradicted in Genesis. The intent of 1 Timothy 2:11-13 was not to silence the voice of women, but rather to control the spread of false doctrine by making sure proper doctrine that fit with the whole Word was being taught. [For further study on this important section of Scripture read “The Role of Women in the Church.”]

The voice of women is recorded in the New Testament including Mary the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:46-55), Elizabeth (Luke 1:42-45), Anna the prophetess (Luke 2:36-38), and the daughters of Philip the evangelist who were identified as prophetesses (Acts 21:9). If God’s plan was that women were to be silent, why would He choose to have women’s words recorded in His Word? God’s plan of cooperative dominion remains, and men and women have the privilege of cooperating to accomplish His purposes in this day and age.


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