Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Set Apart from the Rest

            As we enter into the New Year, I’ll be delivering a series of messages looking at many basic Bible stories and how they apply to us.  I will also focus my blog posts on these stories, that we might give them additional consideration.  Because I’ll be delivering the first of these messages this upcoming Sunday, I’ll have the opportunity to address it in two blog posts.
            The first passage I’ll be looking at is the creation account, found in Genesis 1.  And there are many important truths we can pick out of this chapter.  But the one I want to address here is found in verses 26-27, which say: Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
            We learn from these verses that man was created in the image of God.  He was created in God’s likeness.  And this is true of both Adam and Eve.
            One of the things that stand out, as we consider this, is that it sets them apart from everything else God had made.  God had already created the fish and the birds.  He’d already made the creatures that dwell on earth.  But, when it came to man, something was to be different.  He was to be made in God’s image.  He was to be made after God’s likeness.
            We commonly hear today how man is simply one of the animals in the world.  Even though it’s acknowledged that we’re more intelligent than the other animals, we are classed together with them.    We’re considered, in no way, greater or more important than the other species on earth.
            This attitude can sometimes take an extreme form.  It often comes across that man is the problem in the world.  Man is portrayed as the enemy.  Some tell us that the world would be better off if there were less of us and more of the other creatures God has made. 
            This completely contradicts the message of Genesis 1.  Again, none of the fish, birds, or animals were made in God’s image.  This was true only of man.  In fact, God gave man dominion over all he had made.  He appointed Adam and Eve as caretakers of his creation.
            It also contradicts the word of Jesus in Luke 12:7, “Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” We don’t have equal standing with the birds of the air.  According to Jesus, we are more valuable than they.
            This, of course, doesn’t give man permission to do as he wants.  It doesn’t give him permission to selfishly destroy what God has made.  He’s entrusted us with the care of creation.  But it also tells us how wrong it is to lump man together with everything else.  It’s wrong to simply class him along with the animals.
            Man was made to be like God.  I’ll talk more about what this means in my next post.  But it’s clear that he was created with a quality that isn’t shared by the rest of creation.


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