Created in His Image!
The last day of creation before God rests is the most important day of creation because it is the day God created mankind. But first, God creates animals and all manner of creeping things. God filled the seas and the sky with fishes and birds of all kinds, and now he fills the earth with “All creatures great and small, The Lord God made them all,” as the song goes. He made the elephant and the mosquito. I used to think that would be one of my questions for God when I have a chance one day in heaven. I get buzzards and skunks and snakes and frogs. But mosquitoes? Is there anything good about those murderous pests who can carry malaria? I found my answer this week. The male mosquitoes eat nectar and help pollinate flowers. And bats and birds and reptiles eat mosquitoes. Oh, well.
Now the creation narrative slows down. The earth is filled with beasts and creepy-crawlies, the sky is filled with birds, and the seas are filled with fish. Who will have dominion over them? Which also means, who will name them all?
For the first time the phrase is not, “And God said,” but it is “Then, God said.” And for the first time the Godhead, the Elohim, discusses what happens next in Creation. God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, and God the Son were all present and active in creation. You can read John 1 and Colossians 1 to find confirmation of Jesus the Son being the agent of creation.
Then we find the first poetry in the Bible! Three lines, three repetitions of bara, “created.” “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Mankind is the apex of God’s creation. Psalm 8 tells us that God created man a little bit lower than the angels, not a little bit higher than the animals. Nothing in all the universe even comes close to the mystery and the marvel that a human baby is the very crown of creation. Every person created by God did not exist before he or she was created. Then God spoke them into being through the miracle of conception and gestation and birth, and at the moment of conception they became a living soul, made in the image of God, and will live forever. The stars will all burn out one day, but people live forever. That is just ONE reason we believe in the sanctity of life. Here’s another:
Imago dei. We were created in God’s image. There is so much in that phrase that this column cannot fully unpack. We know in part the meaning is that we were created by God to be like him in our moral, spiritual, and intellectual essence. Tony Evans writes, “An image is a mirror or a reflection. This also means that everybody, regardless of their race or ethnicity, has intrinsic value and worth. Dignity is innate. All humans are born with esteem because they are created in the image of God.” What happened after the fall? Did sin mean that men and women no longer have intrinsic value or worth? No! But the entrance of sin into the world marred that image, and one scholar wrote that man is now “a grisly shadow of himself.” Derek Kidner writes, “As long as we are human we are, by definition, in the image of God. But spiritual likeness…can be present only where God and man are in fellowship; hence, the fall destroyed it and our redemption recreates and perfects it.” That is why we need a Redeemer, and there is one, only one, Christ himself!
Day 6 of creation is completed with this: “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” That includes you.