I live in a country that is officially called The Dominion of Canada. A dominion is often referred to as a place, like a realm, a territory, a colony; but dominion also means “power”. To have dominion means to have power. A kingdom has a king; and a king has dominion over his kingdom. YHWH, of course, has dominion over everything:
YHWH is gracious and compassionate; slow to anger and great in mercy. YHWH is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works.
All Your works will give thanks to You, YHWH, and Your godly ones will bless You. They will speak of the glory of Your kingdom, and talk of Your might, to make known to the sons of mankind Your mighty acts, and the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion [u-mem’shel’t’ka] is throughout all generations.
YHWH Kingdom is forever, and all of Creation is His dominion. But to say “YHWH rules” doesn’t give the full impact. Anyone can rule; anyone can enforce rules onto someone else, but dominion is having the power to back those rules.
YHWH is All-power and He can tame even the wildest, most unpredictable, element of His creation:
The heavens will praise Your wonders, YHWH; Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones. For who in the skies is comparable to YHWH?
Who among the sons of the mighty is like YHWH, a God greatly feared in the council of the holy ones, and awesome above all those who are around Him?
YHWH God of armies, who is like You, mighty YHWH? Your faithfulness also surrounds You.
rule have dominion [moshel] over the surging of the sea; when its waves rise, You calm them.
Under Whose Dominion Do We Belong?
Although Canada does have a monarchy, the Power of Canada really resides with its people. Queen Elizabeth II is the Queen, and for the most part Canadians (myself included) are respectful of what she stands for, but we elect our own representatives to govern our Dominion. Any power we possess remains in the hands of Canadians.
According to the Bible, the people of God were expected to be respectful and reflective of YHWH’s power. We are under one dominion, YHWH’s dominion… and that is a power we have over all rulers and nations. Truth be told, we are not under anyone’s dominion but God’s:
For YHWH your God will have blessed you just as He has promised you, and you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow; and you will
rule have dominion [u-mashal’ta] over many nations, but they will not rule have dominion [lo yi-m’sho’lu] over you.
This is all lovely and idealistic: YHWH has dominion over all creation, and we all put our whole trust in His power. But the problem is… we don’t. We should… but we don’t. We tend to place our trust in our own power… our own dominion… our own little personal kingdoms.
How does YHWH see Dominion and Power?
When Eve and Adam disobeyed YHWH in the Garden, there were repercussions. It threw the balance of dominion out of order. Because Eve and Adam tried to be gods of their own making, instead of dwelling peacefully under the dominion of YHWH, the natural order went into chaos and one of the results was that men would claim dominion (power) over women:
[To Eve:] “…your desire will be for your husband, and he shall
rule have dominion [yi-m’shal] over you.”
Human power struggles are part of the human experience in this wilderness outside of God’s Garden. It’s not just men dominating over women, it’s races dominating over other races, and social economic classes dominating over other economical classes.
But it was never YHWH’s desire for humans to dominate over other humans. Dominion was meant to be about love, humility and sacrifice, it was never meant to be about dominance and supremacy.
Paul recognized the importance of weakness over dominance, and humility over pride:
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Because of the extraordinary greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of the Messiah may dwell in me. Therefore I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in distresses, in persecutions, in difficulties, in behalf of the Messiah; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
In YHWH’s dominion, power was not about dominance, it was about weakness. It was a complete upheaval of what humans thought power should look like. Dominion was about servitude… and no one reflected that better than Yeshua (Jesus):
Calling them [the disciple] to Himself, Jesus said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles domineer over them; and their people in high position exercise authority over them. But it is not this way among you; rather, whoever wants to become prominent among you shall be your servant; and whoever wants to be first among you shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
Yeshua was the Servant King. His dominion wasn’t about dominance, it was about humility and selfless, generous, sacrifice. Yeshua sacrificed His brief life on earth, so we could conquer the grave and live beyond our own life. His gift places us under the Dominion of YHWH. In YHWH’s Garden no one dominates over another, instead everyone lives free, unburdened, and happy in the Presence of our Creator.
Yeshua’s ancestor, David, recognized the beauty of YHWH’s Dominion and called for its blessing:
YHWH has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty
rules has dominion [mashalah] over all.
Bless YHWH, you His angels, mighty in strength, who perform His word, obeying the voice of His word!
Bless YHWH, all you His angels, you who serve Him, doing His will.
Bless YHWH, all you works of His, in all places of His dominion [meh-m’shal’tow];
Bless YHWH, my soul!
For more on the Hebrew concept of dominion click below:
Next week: Triumph/Exultation