Beautiful People; Musings on the Grand Finale of Creation
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. – Genesis 1:26-27
Oh what a glorious blessing and privilege it is to be human; for we are the only part of the created order made in the image of God! The beasts of the earth, the fowl of the air, and fish of the sea are not privy to this glorious title. Rocks, sand, soil and plants are not made in God’s image. Only mankind can hold to this beautiful truth. In six days God created the heavens and the earth. Yet mankind was the last chapter in the created order. Just as a fireworks show bursts with the best and brightest of colors at the grand finale, God displayed His best work at the closing ceremony of creation. The best was saved for last; for we as humans are the crowning glory of the creation of God. And it is with this glorious description that man is set apart and placed at a higher position higher than all other creatures (Psalm 8:5). But what does it mean to be made in God’s image? To explore this rich theological topic, let us uncover the multiple layers of this great title.
The Physical – To begin with, being made in the image of God does not mean God has the body of a man; for the Bible teaches that God is Spirit (John 4:24). However, with this in mind, it must be pointed out that our physical bodies do reflect the very nature of God and carry what we would describe as “God-like qualities.” For instance, Scripture refers to God seeing (Proverbs 15:3), hearing (Psalm 3:4), speaking (Psalm 29:4), and breathing (2 Timothy 3:16). Also, hands and feet are associated with God. The Bible refers to “the good hand” of God and “the righteous right hand” of God (Ezra 8:18, Isaiah 41:10). Enoch and Noah were both men that walked with God (Genesis 5:24, Genesis 6:9). The Bible warns against walking contrary to God (Leviticus 26:21). God describes the earth as His footstool (Isaiah 66:1). To be sure, these verses are used figuratively (and must be viewed in light of their intended context) yet they still associate God with the human body. With this in mind, one can conclude that our bodies reflect the very nature of God, and mirror various God-like qualities.
The Relational – Being made in the image of God also refers to the fact that we are able to have fellowship with the Creator of the universe. This separates us from the rest of creation in a most glorious way. Your dog Fido and your cat Felix cannot experience this privilege. God has grafted in us the ability to think and reason unlike the rest of creation; for God has designed us to be much wiser than animals (Job 35: 11). Because of this, must we not glorify Him back by way and use of our mind, thoughts, and reasoning? The sun, moon, and stars obey Him, and even the crashing waves. Oh but how much more it ought to be with us! He has instilled within us the ability to reason for higher than any other creature or aspect of creation! We are made in the image of God. But with great privilege, there follows great responsibility. We must obey and submit to Him far greater than the waves of the sea, the sun, moon, stars, the beasts of the earth, the fowl of the earth, and the fish of the sea because of this principle of reason endued in us.
The Eternal – Furthermore, being made in the image of God carries an eternal message. We are created for eternity, and we will exist forever. We are eternal beings. This cannot be said of the rest of the created order. For when an animal dies, it ceases to exist. When a plant withers or a flower fades, it is gone forever. Yet we exist forever.
These few scattered thoughts only brush the tip of this particular theological mountain; for there are so many other aspects of this truth in Scripture I did not even expound upon; Oh the richness of God’s Word!
Oh that we would embrace the beauty of being made in God’s image! Live in such a way that you present your life to the Lord as a grand finale…not for your glory, but rather for the glory of God.
– Pastor Eric
(A special thanks to my CCS HS Bible class for inspiring me to write this devotional)