Bible Verse: “God 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.’” (Genesis 1:28)

Scripture Reading: Genesis 1:28-2:25

The first words people speak are usually spoken with purpose – maybe not so much the words that just keep spilling out after those first few! Of course, that’s not the case with God; all His Words have meaning and importance because of who He is. But from our perspective, the first words we hear Him speak are hugely important – and how much more again when the first words He speaks to us are blessing and commission!

That was the case with Adam and Eve. After giving Adam his wife, God blesses them and speaks to them. The divine interacts with the human, and here in Genesis 1:28 we read the first words between God and the newly married Adam and Eve. He commissions them to be fruitful, to fill the earth and subdue it, and to rule over all the other living creatures. That’s a very large commission, and a very great blessing. I don’t think they’d forget those words.

Likewise, let us not forget that when God speaks, He speaks first to bless. He doesn’t give us a whole lot of idle words just to fill our ears, or merely offer sharp and pointed instruction about duty. His words are a blessing, and His commandments are blessings first. We see the same order in His Words to Adam before Eve was created in Genesis 2:16. That’s an important principle in prayer, because one of the most wonderful things about prayer is hearing His voice, and learning to discern between His voice and the other voices that enter our minds.

Firstly, and to the point just made, there is God’s voice. Then there is one’s inner voice, the endless monologue of one’s own mind. Thirdly, there are the voices of others. Then there’s the voice of the world. We must not forget that there is also the voice of the enemy. The devil’s voice is similar to, but usually distinct from, the voice of our own flesh. Finally, and most difficult to discern, is the voice of your own spirit.

By my count, that’s not one but seven voices. No wonder we need prayer! No wonder we need to lean on Him and not our own understanding. But praise the Lord, by prayer we can hear His voice, discern His voice, and gain courage and conviction to follow His voice. That’s important, because as we’ve seen in Genesis 1:28, His voice gives us direction. That is not just a spiritual principle, but a principle of prayer!

— Marcus Verbrugge in Beginnings: Growing in Prayer Through Genesis © 2015 by Marcus Verbrugge. Used by permission.

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