As we begin this New Year, we have been focusing on what God is up to in terms of his Mission for mankind. We discovered that God’s mission from the very beginning was not without resistance then and is still fraught with resistance today. There was however, a time before the fall when a mission had been given to man by God and there was no resistance. Let’s look at that picture for a moment.
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” Genesis 1: 26-30
From the beginning, Adam and Eve were set apart from the rest of creation. God made nothing else in his image. At least three things are clear from this text.
1) The image of God is linked to the command to have dominion over the rest of creation. God is the King of kings, but human beings are his vice-regents.
2) Every human being is significant in God’s eyes for the simple reason that God made us. That means ever one reading this devotional is significant in God’s eyes. It is natural that you want to experience that significance and the history of the human race shows the great creativity we have in desiring to do so, both good and perverse in our attempts to connect with the one whose image we all bear. The tragedy of the story is that like flies returning to garbage, over and over again people connect to the idols made in their hearts, rather than to the One who made them.
3) Third, being made in God’s image and given subsequent responsibilities as a race, we have a purpose in living: we are to glorify God by delighting him as we exercise dominion over creation and are fruitful and multiply. This responsibility to exercise worshipful and respectful dominion over creation is our mandate. Notice, it comes before the fall and continues on in the midst of a broken world.
Prayer: Lord, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Thank you for making me in your image and allowing me to have worshipful and respectful dominion over creation. May I truly make you look good as I do this on a daily basis. Amen
Author’s note: The devotionals this week have been the basis for the message I will be preaching on Sunday, January 5, 2014. Please join us as we begin the New Year together at Church on the Hill. This will also be the pattern for the weeks that follow with the devotionals leading us to the Sunday morning message. I am praying this will make our time together in the Sunday morning worship service more meaningful.