The exceptional position of man in God’s creation

The Bible opens with the statement, 

‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.’  Genesis 1:1

God created it in six days.  On the final day He created man, 

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule….’  So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.’  Genesis 1:26-27

God’s whole creation was excellent and perfect,

‘God saw all He had made, and it was very good.’  Genesis 1:31a 

God’s creation emphasis on man

  1. Man is like God.  The passage repeats four times that God created man and woman in His image or likeness.  God emphasised how special man was with the expanded version of Genesis 1:16-17 in Genesis 2:7-25.  (Note the change from ‘God’ in Genesis 1 to ‘Lord God’ in Genesis 2.  ‘Lord God’ is a combination of the majestic powerful God and the personal intimate Yahweh.)  

2.  Man is different from the animal kingdom because God breathed His divine, eternal breath of life into him, 

‘…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.’ Genesis 2:7

3.  Man was so special that God planted a Garden for them in the East,

‘Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there He put the man He had formed.’  Genesis 2:8

   God specially planted the Garden of Eden with all kinds of trees, 

‘And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground — trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.’  Genesis 2:9a

4.  God gave Adam the rule over the animal kingdom and the earth, 

‘Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air.  He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.’ Genesis 2:19

    In Bible times a ruler had the right to give his subjects names to establish his authority over them.  For example, the chief official of king Nebuchadnezzar gave Daniel and his three friends new names.  Daniel 1:7     

5.  God supplied a wife for the man He made, 

‘But for Adam no suitable helper was found.  So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, He took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh.  Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of man, and He brought her to the man.’  Genesis 2:20b-22

The moral of the story 

God created man in His image.  He provided a special garden, gave him a specially created wife and blessed him with exceptional qualities to rule for God on the earth.  So did they ‘live happily ever after?’  No!  Things went haywire:

  • Adam failed to honour God and obey His one simple command. 
  • Cain killed his brother after God warned him. 
  • Cain’s descendant, Lamech, was all for war and retaliation. 
  • The generation before the Flood went wild and wicked.  
  • Noah, a righteous man saved by God, got drunk and cursed his grandson. 
  • The Tower of Babel builders planned to exclude the Creator God from their city.   
  • The Bible has many more names of people who failed God’s original creation purpose for man.

The question? 

What happened?  What went wrong?  These are the questions the Bible answers.

Author: Gerard and Alida

As you can see in the photo, there are two of us. We live and work together 24/7, studying and enjoying our grandchildren. Our passion is to know and understand what will happen after death. Is there a way to provide for and invest in that?

2 thoughts on “The exceptional position of man in God’s creation”

  1. Hi Gerhard & Alida

    What an amazing question, “What went wrong?”

    This is a question I have pondered for most of my life, I would love to hear your findings and enjoy the narrative that follows from your perspective.

    You have clearly observed the scripture in this regard and I commend you before the heavenly host for this.

    Jesus spoke in ‘parables’ to veil the meaning if His words from those who were not yet ready to hear or able to discern them.
    Parables or a figurative symbolic language, have been used throughout scripture by various writers inspired by the Holy Spirit. For the same reasons Jesus used figurative speech or metaphors or parables when speaking to audiences who were not able bear the message at the time. Understanding some of these I have learnt quite a lot. For obvious reasons this forum is not the place to discuss these as many books have been authored on the subject.

    So, what went wrong? At this point I need to remind the reader, ‘this is God’s plan we are talking about’, and in this context, let us bear in mind also that ‘God is PERFECT in all of His ways’. Scripture also tells us that the creation of man was and is and still is to come, the pinnacle of His creation. He does not make mistakes!There are no bugs in the work of His hands.

    He made man in His own image and likeness. Imagine that for a moment, unfathomable to the human mind, yet He has expounded on that throughout scripure. He knows about every hair that falls from our heads. I am astounded!

    He knew that man would rebel (be self righteous) without knowing good and evil, and He knew man would need to put self righteousness to death, to become fully clothed in His righteousness, understanding good and evil. So He set the stage for this to happen. We all know the story. Although it has been twisted a bit, the essence is reasonably still in tact.
    Man rejected God’s advise, he needed to be separated from the tree of life lest they eat of it while being still self righteous (righteousness without knowledge and understanding of good and evil still controlled their thought processes).

    Self righteousness (the spirit of the flesh) has no insight into truth and needs to die, to give way to the Spirit of God. Who lives by the flesh dies, who lives by the Spirit lives.

    Unfortunately dying to self comes at a price, by suffering and death alone, that’s why He Himself, present in the flesh of His Son Jesus, lead the way to the cross, sacrificed His own flesh. So that we who believe, are sanctified by His blood, so that “we” (not God) can put self righteousness (the spirit of the flesh that causes sin) to death, without having to endure the suffering of the cross, in our flesh on a cross, though we suffer with Him, by faith.

    We still suffer in spirit every day, as we tear down powers and principalities that have governed our thoughts until now, until every vestage of sin (the fruit of self righteousness) is fully defeated. Paul referred to this process when saying “I die daily” refering to the thinking of the body of flesh we inhabit, the death of self righteousness.

    As you can probably imagine, I have only skimmed the surface of the very tip of the iceberg, as far as knowledge is concerned with reference to this awesome subject you have tackled in this article, I salute you Gerhard & Alida.

    Blessings
    Patrick

    Like

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