God’s first command to the man and woman He had created was to exercise dominion “over all the earth” (Genesis 1:26), not a despotic dominion, as some have insinuated, but a responsible stewardship.
In order to subdue the earth, we must first understand its processes. Thus, research is the foundational occupation for fulfilling the divine mandate. Then this knowledge must be applied in technology (engineering, medicine, agriculture, etc.). It must be implemented for use by all (business, commerce) and transmitted to future generations (education). The creation can also be described and praised in the humanities and fine arts.
The Dominion Mandate thus authorizes all honorable human occupations as a stewardship under God.
The mandate was reaffirmed to Noah after the Flood (Genesis 9:1-10) with the additional institution of human government, a change made necessary by the entrance of sin and death into the world. Thus, all the occupations we now call the social sciences (law, civics, counseling, etc.) have been added to God’s authorized vocations.
This all-encompassing command will be part of the great judgment when “the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:12).