God's Blanket of Blessing

Steven Bouma-Prediger

READ : Genesis 1:22

God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” (v. 22)

We are familiar with the text that speaks of God blessing humans and calling them to be fruitful and multiply (Gen. 1:28). But we often forget that God also blesses our non-human neighbors – in this case the aquatic and avian creatures. On the second day of the Genesis 1 creation story, livable places are created for water and air creatures, and now on the fifth day God makes creatures to dwell in those places. To use the language of ecology, on days one, two and three God provides habitats; on days four, five and six God creates inhabitants for each of those habitats.

And God spreads his blanket of blessing upon these creatures – shrimp and suckers, kites and kingfishers – and commands that they be fruitful. We humans are not the only creatures that God wishes to multiply and fill the earth. God’s intention is that the swarms of living creatures of every kind flourish. The earth is home not just for us; it’s also home for sea creatures and land animals, creeping things down low and winged birds on high. We all share the same blessing.


O God, the Giver of blessings, bless us to be a blessing to all the earth and all your many creatures.