Thinking About God
SEPTEMBER 30, 2023
The Bible says that after making the land and water and plants and animals and all the things, God wasn’t finished.
He saved His best work for last. He made humans! When we look at people around the world, we see God’s creativity on display. We have different skin colors, various eye colors and nose shapes, and unique hair textures. We speak thousands of languages and have different accents. We even enjoy different kinds of food and clothes! All these amazing differences reflect God’s creativity, so we celebrate them.
Before Genesis was written, many religions taught that humans were created by false gods—not the one true God. These ancient legends said humans weren’t made because of an overflow of love. We were made as slaves to work for the gods.
But Genesis opens with the opposite story—a story of beauty and creativity and glory! Humans weren’t created for slavery and abuse. We were created in the image of God to be loved and live on the earth, working and resting and enjoying each other and our Maker. We were made carefully by God for friendship with Him and each other. As humans, we are unique among everything else God made. We are the only thing in all of creation made in His image (Genesis 1:26–27).
When we think of the word image, we think of a picture or symbol. We think of things we see. So, you may think being made in God’s image means we look like what God looks like physically, with two arms, two legs, and a nose in the middle of our faces. But being made in God’s image actually means we resemble Him in some of our attributes. Think about your shadow. Your shadow is not you. It doesn’t look completely like you, but it does copy your movements. As humans, we are like little shadows of God, reflecting parts of His character whether we know Him or not.
Do you remember how we discussed the communicable attributes of God? We have some of the characteristics He has, even though we are imperfect in the way we express them. Some examples of God’s communicable attributes are goodness, mercy, truthfulness, justice, and grace. When humans practice any of those things, we can see glimmers of how we are made in God’s image.
We reflect God in other ways too. Like Him, humans are able to think critically and creatively. We can use our intellect in ways that animals do not. Also, we are moral creatures with a sense of right and wrong. Our consciences tell us whether we should make a certain moral choice or not. Lastly, we are relational, social creatures, which reflects the way God is relational between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Human beings are precious to God! He made every one of us in His image. There will never be a moment of your life when you are not in the image of God. When God sees you, He sees someone He loves. God values people simply because they are people. His love is not based on whether you get good grades, perform well in a sporting event, have good looks, or have unique talents or abilities. Psalm 139:14 says humans are “remarkably and wondrously made” by God. Therefore, you, your body, and everyone else’s body have value, worth, and dignity because we were made by God and for God.
Excerpted with permission from Thinking About God by Alex Early. Copyright 2023, B&H Publishing.