Devotionals Genesis


If you are older and honest, you will looked at yourself, your mannerisms, your good point and your not-so-good point and compare them to one or both of your parents. At my age I see some of both the good and the not so good things in myself that were manifest in my father. This relates to mannerisms largely. An uncle of mine died at 65 many years ago. Once his children were grown up and became parents, they visited my mom with their mom. I happened to be there. My one cousin looked at me and turned extremely white. The blood drained out of his “white” face. When I asked what happened he said he saw a ghost as he looked at me. He saw his father. It is true mom’s brothers looked alike and the youngest and I were somewhat a close match … grey hair and all. Likeness in appearance, mannerisms, personality, giftedness and character can run, most notably in the family. We are confronted with this concept today. Please read the passage we are working through again:

Ge 1:26 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.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 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.” 29 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. 30 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. 31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

As the Triune God, He said … “Let us make man.” Now we come to …

3) The human race is created in the image and likeness of God.

Ge 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.

(1) It was God’s decision to create man. He chose to do this. From the outset as we approach verse 26 we realize that God creates man very different to any of the other animals. They have life, eat, reproduce … but there is a significant difference. Man is created in the image and in the likeness of God. This was God’s decision and choice. In the council of eternity He chose to create man and create man very different to the other animals on the planet.

(2) The difference between man and animals. It is not the eye and ear, or teeth and eating food, or a heart to pump blood and a bladder and a bowel. That is not the difference although man’s physical body might work the same in some way compared to the animal kingdom as well as remarkable differences. I will suggest that the major and unique difference between the animal kingdom and the human kingdom is that the human being has a soul. That is, he has a spiritual dimension. Peeping ahead into Genesis we find God providing more material about Him creating man.

Gen 2:7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

We shall examine the text when we get to it, but to help us understand “image” and “likeness”, it is important to understand the human being has a spiritual dimension. Look at:

Ge 1:20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems 24 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.” 28 Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.

As you read these verses you become aware that God created “living creatures” and “every living and moving thing”. Yet when it comes to man, we read … the man became a living being. The same basic ingredient is dust (earth) but the radical difference is soul! Animals do not have a soul whilst the human being does. When an animal dies it decays (or is eaten) and it is no more. The human beings body might die, be buried and decay or be cremated, but the real man or woman … the soul … the spiritual dimension lives forever. God created man to live forever as God lives forever. So the first aspect of image and likeness is that man has a soul, a spiritual dimension which lives forever.

(3) Remember we are speaking of man before the fall … that is, in his totally pure state, before he was tarnished with sin. The idea of image and likeness are virtually the same … likeness explains image. The word for image comes from the root meaning “to carve” or “to cut off”. Something of God was “cut off” or “carved out” that makes man in God’s image. As said, it is his spiritual dimension which we call the soul. The soul lives forever as God intended. It has a conscience, intellect, will, creative abilities but most of all it has a moral and ethical dimension. Nowhere in Scripture does it say we humans are created in the physical image of God. Firstly we don’t know what God looks like, because secondly, God is Spirit. To the woman at the well in Samaria Jesus said:

Jn 4:23 “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

Through sin, the image and likeness of God was marred, at times almost impossible to see, but still present. Depravity of the soul is the worst possible sickness which leads to eternal death, yet through God’s Recue Plan in Jesus Christ, the soul is made alive and is slowly restored into the likeness of the Son of God. Once you are born again … made spiritually alive—

Jn 3:5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’”

—the renewal of the likeness starts—

Col 3:10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

—and shall be completed by the time we reach glory:

1 Cor 15:49 And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.

Naturally, we play a big part in the being renewed by a healthy, daily intake of Scripture and Prayer, coupled to regular Worship and Service.

Our Father, thank You for giving us a soul and thank You that through Jesus’ salvific ministry we might be born again and see the soul renewed during the course of our salvation life on earth in preparation for heaven. Amen.

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