2006-02-23 - The Image of God
Originally Published 2000-01-24
Genesis 1:26-28, "Then God said, Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness..."
Man was created last of all creatures. Thus it can never be suspected that man was a helper with God in the creative process. The question, "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the world?" Job 38:4, forever puts man in his place below God.
The creation of man was somewhat different than that of the other parts of creation. In the past creation had been from a voice of authority, "Let there be light," "Let there be a firmament," "Let the waters bring forth." Now the command is turned into a form of consultation, "Let us make man." In this there is more care and more affection. It is as if God said, "having at last settled the preliminaries, let us now apply ourselves to the real business at hand, Let us make man."
God's image consists of man's sense and knowledge of righteousness, and holiness, Eph. 4:24, Col. 3:10. When created man was upright. There were no gaps in his understanding of moral duty, or right and wrong. Man's affections were properly placed. He had no inordinate appetites or passions that were out of place. Before the fall our first parents were, happy, well adjusted, productive, and complete. And the primary reason why things were so good, and so ordered was because of the image of God in man.
The honor of man, the honor of the image of God in man is one reason why we ought not to speak ill on another (James 3:9) "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness.", do ill to another (Gen. 9:6) "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man." This is also a great reason why we should not debase and lower ourselves into the service of any sin. We are better than that!
This coming week is Right to Life Week in many parts of the United States. It is the image of God which gives worth to every created person. Young and old, wise and foolish, intelligent or dense, everyone that lives is an image bearer of God. It ought to influence how we treat each other and how we view those we come in contact with.
In Genesis 1:31, God reviewed all that He had made. So He does now also. Everything is still under His care and under his eyes. Psalm 139:1-16. He that made all sees all. God has given us an example of reviewing our works. We have the power of reflection as God does. Psalm 119:59, "I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes."
The results of the review was that it was all very good. When we review our works it is often to our shame, but when God reviewed His, He pronounced that it was very good, and it is the creation of man, the image bearer, who receives this pronouncement. Man was made. Creation was now finished. God saw the beauty and harmony of His works when all created. It was very good.
Soli Deo Gloria,