GENESIS 1:26-2:3,7


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."

Read verses 26 through 28.  When did God create man?  What specific plan did God have for man?  

V26  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." v27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. v28 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." 

On the 6th day.

v26: This is God's plan for man.

v27: This is an actual creation of man.

28: This is God's command to man, as it were, he granted man their position as his plan.

When God created other things, God did not do like this. Just God said and an existence came out.

Verse 26.  

In this verse, He shares His plan for mankind in two ways.  

First, "let us make man in our image and in our likeness."

In His image: Image means resemblance.  When I see you, I am reminded of something, because you have that image.  Man has the image of God - It means that man was created in the way to remind of God, who is holy, righteous and perfect.  When a man talks, thinks, and acts, he is to recall others of God.  (God is Spirit, and He is invisible.  But when other creatures saw human being, they were reminded of God – God’s holiness, God’s majesty, God’s love, God’s awesomeness….  When other creatures saw human being, they rejoiced and felt beloved.  When a human being was born, the universe rejoiced, and when after fall, a human being died, the whole universe grieved.  Man is such a being – the reminder of God.)  This shows us:

Man's value or majesty:  No matter what kind of person he may be, he is awesome and majestic.  He has the image of God.  Read Psalm 139:14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

This is the reason why murdering is a terrible sin.  Read Genesis 9:6.

"Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man."

This is the reason why we must honor and respect others.

Man's supreme duty to reveal God's image in and through his life.  

We must struggle hard that people may see the image of God, his holiness, his sacrificial love, and his justice in and through us.  

Man lost the image of God because of their sins.  So some people instead of revealing the image of God, reveal the image of animals, even worse than animals through their cruelty, their wicked and sinful life style or their laziness.  Read Romans 1:23

"and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles."

God's children must be different from them.

In his likeness:  "In his likeness" is outward similarity whereas "in his image" is inward quality.  This expression shows that originally, we were created to be like God. As God is sovereign, so humans are sovereign. God made all other creatures to live according to their instinct – they never come out of that; cow never eats meat even if it dies for starvation; lion never eats grass even if it dies for starvation; simply, to them, such a thing is unthinkable. They behave in the way they were designed; in that sense, they are not sovereign beings, but programmed. Only man is made in his likeness, not animals.

Second, "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."

Man was created to take care of God's creation.  God created everything beautiful and perfect.  Now He needed someone who would take care of them.  For this purpose, He created mankind. In other words, for the mission of God, man was created.  Man is God's steward.

Man is the ruler over God's creation.  God's purpose upon man in the passage is very clear, that is, to rule over everything God created in the sea, in the air and on the ground.  

God created the world in three dimensions, the air, the water, and the ground and filled all these three dimension with all kinds of living things and material resources and natural laws.  Then, He asks man his steward to rule over all the world of these three dimensions.

Man is to challenge, pioneer and conquer the nature and the environment instead of being overwhelmed and overruled by the environment.

What kind of life should we live?  "Conquerors' and rulers' life", not the life of the defeated or fatalistic or losers.

2. Read 2:7.  How did God create the man?

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.

Verse 7. Man has both body and spirit.  Our body comes from the dust of the ground like other animals. When God formed man's body from the dust of the ground, it was nothing but like a sculpture or a statue.  It was like a dead body.  

Man became a living being when the breath of God came into his body.  Here, "the breath of God" refers to God's Spirit. Man's life is from the spirit not from the flesh. John 6:63. 

"The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life." 

a)  Man has spirit differently from animals.

On the sixth day, God created man and animals from the dust of the ground. So man is the same with the animals in the sense that both of them came from the dust of the ground.  

But man is different fundamentally from the animals in the sense that man has spirit.  When God created other animals, He simply commanded the land to produce all kinds of animals and they came out.  But He formed man's body from the dust of the ground like an artist and breathed his Spirit into it, and it became a living being.  

Because man has the body, he has to eat, drink, rest and sleep.  A dog is satisfied when food, shelter and mate are provided.  But man cannot be satisfied with these things only.  He needs food for his spirit also.  Read Deut 8:3

He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

[cf. Eccl 3:13 – This verse does not mean that animals’ spirits go down, but the author’s question is: “Who knows?”  No one knows, and in that chapter, the author discloses that there is no difference between human beings and animals in the respect of death.]

b)  Man is different from the angels.

The angels have the spirit, but they do not have the flesh.  

God created spiritual beings like angels and cherubim.  God also created physical things like animals and birds and fish.  And God created a living being who has both spirit and body.

3. Read 1:29-31.  What does this passage show us about God's provision? (cf. Mt 6:33) Why was he very pleased with his creation on the sixth day?

v29 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. v30 And 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.     

God provides food for man.  Here, "food" has the meaning of everything we need to maintain our life like security.

God gave man his mission first in verse 28, and then provided what he needed.  In other words, man is responsible of serving God's mission, and God is responsible of providing him necessary things to be his steward.  Man is not to work hard to secure his future, but to serve God's mission.  Then God provides.

This is biblical principle.  God asks us to serve his mission first, and then provides we need for our life.  Read Matthew 6:33. 

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

a) God was very pleased because the masterpiece of the masterpieces of His creation was made.

b) God was very pleased because man had the image of God.

God was very pleased because man had God's mission.

How can we be the objects of very great pleasure to God?  When we reveal the image of God and serve God's mission wholeheartedly.

4. Read 2:1-3.  How is the seventh day different from the other days?  What can we learn about the purpose of the seventh day?

V1  Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. v2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. v3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creation that he had done.

a)  The seventh day is a memorial to God.  So He proclaimed the seventh day as a universal holiday and made it holy.  We must obey God and celebrate His creation work with Him on this day as well.  We must participate in His joy of completing His creation work.

b) It is holy because the seventh day belongs to God.  It is not ours.  So we call this day "the Lord's day."  We must keep this day holy.  We must spend this day according to God's purpose.  Read Exod 20:8-10.

"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.

a)  That we may stay away from the world and rest from the things of the world.

b) That we may come to God and be holy through having fellowship with Him.

c)  The Sabbath is the shadow of our eternal rest in the kingdom of heaven.


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