Aim: To contemplate the “godlike” beauty of man and woman.
Creation of humankind (Gen 1:26-31):
Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth”. So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
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 air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth”.
God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food”. And it was so.God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
“… in our image”: “Our image” implies human likeness to the triune Godhead. Plants possess a body, and animals a body and consciousness. Man and woman were not only to have a body (of the created “earth”) and a consciousness (of the created “soul”), but they were also to possess a third created entity, the image of God, an eternal spirit capable of communion and fellowship with their Creator.
“… likeness”: Man and woman were not only created in God’s spiritual image; they were also made in God’s physical image. Their body was specifically planned to be most suited for the divine fellowship (erect posture, upward-gazing countenance, facial expressions varying with emotional feelings, brain and tongue designed for articulate symbolic speech – none of which are shared by the animals). Furthermore, their body was designed to be like the body which God had planned from eternity that he himself would one day assume.
“… dominion”: The “dominion” humankind was to exercise was to be over both “the earth” and all the other living creatures on the earth. Such dominion obviously was under God as a stewardship, not as autonomous sovereign. Human beings were to care for the earth and its creatures, developing and utilizing the earth’s resources, not to despoil and deplete them for selfish pleasure.
“… male and female”: Both male and female were created in God’s image. Thus both possess equally an eternal spirit capable of personal fellowship with their Creator. Shared equally by men and women are all those spiritual attributes not shared by animals – moral conscience, abstract thought, appreciation of beauty, emotional feelings, and, especially, the capacity for worshipping and loving God.
“… very good”: Six times before, God had adjudged the work of creation to be “good”. Now, after completing everything, God declared it all to be “exceedingly good” (literal meaning of the Hebrew word rendered “very”).
Personal Reflection and Sharing
What amazes me most about the body, soul and spirit of human beings?
What are the attributes that make them capable of personal fellowship with their Creator?