We are stewards of the wondrous world God made. God created the world, and then He made man in His image to rule the earth.
Genesis 1:27-31 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
29Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
31God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
We are the stewards of the earth. Genesis continues and tells of how the first Man and Woman disobeyed God and the earth was cursed because of their sin. We still see the results of that around us here and now in decay and death. We, their children, continue in sin and further turn away from God and forget that we are under Him and His laws.
Since Adam and Eve's time we studied our world and determined many scientific laws. Our world is based on cause and effect. Apples fall because of gravity. Stones stop rolling because of friction. Study shows that this rule of cause and effect is consistent. Everything that exists, affects everything else. The tree in your backyard affects you, the birds, the squirrels, and the bugs that climb around in it. You then go and affect your friends and family. It spreads out and across the entire world mixing with all the other experiences and thoughts.
Our job as stewards is caring for the wondrous world we live in, preserving it and using it for good. Stewards manage resources. They have great responsibility to use the resources efficiently and productively. In old estates and castles, stewards managed the affairs of the land for the Lord or King. Our stewardship is an exact parallel to this. We protect and increase the resources so that they may be eaten or used to produce useful tools.
There is wonder and beauty in all parts of the world, even skeletons. The beauty of the atoms and how they form the molecules. The mystery of the bones survived when the rest decayed. We must not hold only flowers and hugs as beautiful, we must appreciate molding leaves and bloodsucking mosquitoes. Yes, we must appreciate all this, but we must not idolize it. It did not make itself, it was made by a wondrous, loving God. We see His power and wisdom in the structure of our universe, and we should be humbled that He set us over His creation.
John Locke sums it up in his Second Treatise.
“God gave the World to Men in Common; But since he gave it them for their benefit, and the greatest Conveniencies of life they were capable to draw from it, it cannot be supposed he meant it should always remain common and uncultivated. He gave it to the use of the industrious and Rational, (and Labour was to be his Title to it;) not to the fancy or covetousness of the quarrelsome and contentious.”