Last time — "What do the first five days of creation tell us about God?"Today look at Day 6 of creationWhat does creation tell us about ourselves?
Days 1, 2, 4 & 5 each had one creative act: Light; sky; celestial bodies; fish & fowlDay 6 repeats pattern of Day 3: two distinct creative actsDay 3: Separation of land/sea & creation of plant lifeDay 6 also has two distinct creative actsSame themes as on Days 1-5:Only God createsGod creates orderly, intentionally & purposefullyGod's creation is good
Animals to inhabit the earth — vv 24-25Three groups of land animals here: Livestock (domesticated),Creatures that move along the ground (reptiles)Wild animals (undomesticated).The three terms are general classifications without specific details.
"Man" (Adam) is generic: Hebrew "adam" sometimes "man" vs. "woman"Not so here:Singular ("in the image of God he created him") –mankindPlural ("male and female he created them") – affirms that focus is mankind, not man distinct from womanRefers here to humankind, comprised of male and femaleUsage elsewhere in Genesis 1-11 supports this as wellGenesis 5:2 NIV He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them "man." (e.g. "mankind")"Adam" also refers to humankind in Genesis 6-9 in the flood narrativeIn Genesis 2 "adam" becomes personal name — details of Day 6God pronounced His blessing on the male and the female: they were to be fruitful and increase in number. In Genesis, to be blessed was to be enriched and fertile.
Conclusion of the creation storyProvides for his creationNote:all are vegetarian – meat given as food after the floodGenesis 9:3 NIV Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.V 31 — final benediction that it is very good
Day six was Creation's climax for it included mankindGod focuses less attention on vast universe, & world's ecosystem, than on puny, insignificant manPsalm 8 NIV O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. (2) From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. (3) When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, (4) what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? (5) You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. (6) You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: (7) all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, (8) the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. (9) O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Theme: people are the apex, the climax, of creation*** Literary crescendo builds to climaxLength of the description of each day increasing(The bigger the creation, from our perspective, the less space is devoted to it)Creation of light (1) shorter than celestial light giving bodies (4)Creation of sea & sky (2) shorter than fish & birds (5)Creation of land & vegetation (3) shorter than animals & man*** Literary pattern changes from Days 1-5 & Animals from Day 6Rhythm/pattern to days 1-5"Let there be … and it was so" — "according to kind" — Good*** Changes in middle of day 6 re humankindFamiliar "Let there be" becomes "Let us make" Instead of creation reproducing "according to their kind," Adam and Eve are created "in our image"Instead of just filling the earth — also rule the earth"Rule" the earth itselfDominion over the inhabitants of the earth
You and I are not some Darwinian accident*** We didn't make it to the "top of the evolutionary ladder" because we have opposing thumbs and the ability to think abstractly.*** Man was last creature mentioned;did not evolve from lower forms of life; intentionally created*** We are the crowning point of God's creation. Why?*** Omniscient, omnipotent God said, "Let us make man in our image"*** Wanted to create something that was more like himself than animals, birds, fish, plants, celestial bodiesMade you/me in his image, in his likeness
Who is the plural "us" — "our image"?Why does vs 27 return to singular "his own image"?Creation emphasizes that there is only one God — monotheism (v 27)But here is a hint that there is more to God than meets the eyeIn his singularity there is some sort of plurality
"Trinity" ("3-in-1") Hierarchy, unity; seen in creation Each is God; None is identical with the others*** Father — decides to create"In the Beginning, God created … And God said …"Finally, "Let us make … our image … our likeness"*** Son — agent, does workCol 1:15-16 NLT Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, (16) for through Him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can't see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through Him and for Him.Jn 1:1-3 NLT In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) He existed in the beginning with God. (3) God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him.***Spirit (v 2 "hovering") — completes, gives lifeThis is the "us" of Genesis 1 — we're in image of triune God
What is this "image" of the triune God ("imago dei")?Image imparted only to humans (Gen_2:7). "Image" is figurative, for God does not have a formSomehow, we share, though imperfectly and finitely, in God's nature, that is, in His communicable attributes (life, personality, truth, wisdom, love, holiness, justice), and so have the capacity for spiritual fellowship with Him.God's purpose in creating human life in His image was functional: man is to rule or have dominion (Gen_1:26, Gen_1:28). God's dominion was presented by a "representative." (Egyptian kings later, in idolatry, did a similar kind of thing: they represented their rule or dominion by making representative statues of themselves.)
*** Key Hebrew word "likeness" — similar but not the same*** "Image" refers to qualities that together enable us to resemble GodSeen in context — God wanted to make something more like himselfMore like himself than the animals, birds, fish, vegetation & starsSo he made human beingsHeavens declare the glory of God, but you and I look like himNo mountain/starry night/sunset can do.*** We alone of all are made in the image of God — we alone reflect God to creationSpiritual qualities — more than flesh and bones — awareness of God (unlike animals)Mental qualities — intellect, reason (abstract)Relational qualities — walk with God (Gen 2)Moral qualities — conscience (right/wrong)Image of GodWe were made like himWe were made to reflect him to creation
The "what" (the fact that we bear the image of God) leads us to a couple of "so what's".
Image of God is source of all human dignityI'm somebody because God infused his likeness into me*** World's idea of dignity is distortedClaims dignity apart from GodMeasures dignity by performanceSays some earned dignity — "beautiful people"Hold awards ceremonies so we can admire themTells the rest we are worthless. Why?Can't jump as high, tackle as hard, not as rich — not very pretty*** There is no human dignity apart from GodDignity lies solely in the fact that God created usImage of God — "very good"Who I am — Why I am here — Meaning of life — Source of my dignityI am worthwhile not because of what I have done.I am worthwhile because created in his imageWe're all of same value, worth, have same dignityIt doesn't matter how others view you or me; only matters how God views usYou are createdin his image & therefore his treasure
Relationship between creation and our spiritual growthContinuumWe were created in God's image*** Image marred by sin, but not lostSon of God died so that his own image in us could reach its full potential*** Spiritual transformation is such that we are to look more and more like Him*** 2 Cor 3:18
*** Matthew 17:2 NIV There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.*** Rom 12:2 NIV Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.*** 2 Cor 3:18 TNIV And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.*** 1Jn 3:2 NLT Dear friends, we are already God's children, but He has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He really is.
"Great Stone Face" (N Hawthorne) — "by beholding …"White Mountains of NH looked like kindly man's face*** Ernest asked mother about prophecy that a great man, raised in village, destined to become noblest personage of his time & would resemble GSFGrew up contemplating GSF & apparent wisdom, gentleness & kindness*** Gathergold wealthy, opulent lifestyle of conspicuous consumption. Miserly, “Scattercopper".*** Gen. Battleblast military hero. Iron will, but no gentleness, wisdom, or tenderness.*** Old Stony Phiz politician wanted to capitalize on prophecy to be elected President.Ernest grew & became preacher, blessing & molding lives. Ordinary & unassuming. In the end, his neighbors recognized Ernest as the fulfillment of the prophecy*** They saw in him the GSF.
Why should we bother with spiritual growth?Painful and full of disappointments!This is what we were made to be and to doGod created us so that his image can become more and more visible in usWhy it is worth the effort and the disappointments and the joySomeday, we will be like him*** Never be God — but we will be him — 1 John 3:2Lets get ready
Mat 22:17-21 TNIV Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?" (18) But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? (19) Show me the coin used for paying the tax." They brought him a denarius, (20) and he asked them, "Whose image is this? And whose inscription?" (21) "Caesar's," they replied. Then he said to them, "Give back to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."*** Another way of saying this – Give God that which bears his image – yourself!
Animals – Gen 1:24-25<br />And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.<br />
Human Beings – Gen 1:26-28<br />Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."<br />
Conclusion – Gen 1:29-31<br />Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food." And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.<br />
2 Cor 3:18 TNIV And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.</li></li></ul><li>Metamorphosis<br /><ul><li>Jesus' transfiguration (Mat 17:2)
Someday, we'll be like him!<br />1Jn 3:2 NLT Dear friends, we are already God's children, but He has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He really is.<br />