|The World Begins
Stories of beginnings are very interesting, the beginning of ones life, the beginning of a year, the newness of a marriage, the beauty of starting that new job or the excitement of a new relationship. “In the beginning” keeps us tuned in, almost leaning forward to see how the story unfolds.
In Gen 1 we see how another beginning holds our interest, the beginning of our world. God speaks and all comes to be from the earth to the sea, the trees and its fruit, the stars, moon and sun are spoken into existence. Then the second phase of creation God speaks life into our world, on the fifth day all living creatures are made, “according to their kind”. The phrase “according to their kind is used ten times through five verses (Gen 1:11-12,21,24-25) begging for us to pay attention. According to their kind God speaks into creation sky creatures, sea creatures and land creatures (Gen 1:20-25), they receive the blessing of multiplying the earth. Then there is a pause…another living being is being created according to their kind but this time it is according to a different kind separate from all other living creatures.
God speaks, “Let Us make man according to Our image, according to our likeness” and they are blessed. Blessed not only with multiplication like the animals and birds but with relationship and rulership over all the earth. God created His own kind on earth to know Him and have a personal relationship with Him and then through this relationship mankind will be able to manage earth matters according to God’s sovereign direction. The stage is set, this is the beginning.
If you are like me, I always like to ask the “so what question?”. If man was made according to the kind of God what implications does that have today in my life? Being made of the same kind as God on earth puts Human life to a supreme premium and an excellent standard of living comparable only to his Kind, which is God. Human life although not divine is sacred, comparable only to the very life of God. That is why the very life of God (Jesus Christ) is the only suitable substitute to rescue (buy-back) humankind from sin and death that will enter the world after the beginning (Rom 4:24-25, 5:18)...that is the next part of the story.
Do you see your life this way? Do you see the standard of excellence you are called to? Do you value all human life with this standard in mind? Not comparing ourselves with ourselves because that is foolish, but comparing our character, our being with the very character and being of God (1 John 4:17). This uniqueness is the same across cultures, across race and across sex. it is not the color of my skin that gives me value or my ability to be productive in my society that gives me value. Far be it! I am valuable because I am human, because all humans black or white, Asian or American, male or female are made in the image of God.
Jerry Bridges in his book, WHO AM I says "Because I am created by God it means I am dependent on Him and accountable to Him". That is why one wise man once said "Understanding who the God of the Bible is, helps us understand who we are as human beings created in his image".
About this John Calvin says,
Nearly all the wisdom we possess, that is to say true and sound wisdom, consist of two parts: the knowledge of God and ourselves. But while joined by many bonds, which one preceded and brings forth the other is not easy to discern.
I am also learning that the more I learn about God the creator of the universe the more clearly I see myself (2 Cor 3:17). So the key to understanding your own identity is rooted in the very knowledge of and relationship with God. If you are confused about who you are, you open the door to all kinds of evil (insecurities, selfishness, pride and control). That is what happened when sin entered the world in the beginning…
more next time as we journey through History from the beginning, in hope that you may find the Truth of life and be set free to live out God’s likeness on earth (1 John 4:17) because in so doing lies true comfort for your soul.
Happy New Year, a new journey begins in Him.