Posted by: Jim Black | January 8, 2008

In the beginning… Creation and Genesis 1

If you grew up going to Sunday School then I’ll bet you can remember like me making little decorative mobiles describing the creation that Moses describes in Genesis 1. What a wonderful and jaw-dropping account of an all-powerful God speaking the universe into existence! It is absolutely incredible to imagine God creating from nothing everything in our universe. From the Milky Way to the Grand Canyon… from Pluto to Petersburg… God said it and there it was. Wow. Pause for just a minute and think about that.

Folks through the ages have picked apart this glorious account of creation… arguing over whether or not the days are to be understood as literal twenty four hour periods, or as a more figurative term to describe a longer, extended period of time. Scientists have quibbled over the description of the animals and the order of the creation. I wonder what other book has been so widely scrutinized? I think they miss the point. I think the key to understanding what Moses was trying to get across to the Hebrews as they prepared to enter in to the land of Promise is found in verses 27-30 of Gen. 1. Remember, Moses was trying to remind them of who they were and where they had come from. In vs. 27 Moses reminds them that they were created in the image of God. That isn’t said about ANY other creature. Mankind and mankind alone was created to be the image-bearer of God in this marvelous creation. What does that mean? Did they look like God in some physical resemblance? No, God is spirit. Rather, mankind is described as the image-bearer of God in that the stewardship of the creation was entrusted into his care. Look again at verses 28 and following, “Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” God created the animals and asked us to look after them. Then in vs. 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….” He created the trees and the plants and then told us to tend to them. In other words… He gave us a job!

What was Moses trying to convey to the people he had given so much of his life for? “Remember, you are made in the image of God… God has a purpose for your life and one of those purposes is to take care of what He has given you… the planet, the animals, the trees, the plants… the whole Earth!” No small responsibility, wouldn’t you say? Is God’s word to us the same as it was to them? Uhhhhmmmmmm…..

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