Created

Aug 25, 2019 by: Sam Hestorff| Series: In the Beginning
Scripture: Genesis 1:27–1:30

If you are like me, than you’ve probably heard the story of creation about a thousand times  . . . but if you take a closer look at the text there is something there that you may have never noticed before.

Let me recap some parts of the text so you can see what I’m talking about.

  • God said, let there be light; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good
  • God said, let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear. ; And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called the seas.  And God saw that it was good.
  • Then God said, let the earth put forth vegetation; Plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it; and it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation . . .  And God saw that it was good

The creation account goes on and on like this, with the same pattern.  God creates something with his spoken word, it comes to pass and then he sees that it is good . . .

Everything is so good; light, water, plants, the sun and moon and stars, birds that fly, sea creatures that swim, and animals that walk and run and creep on the land . . . It’s all so good, good, good, good! 

Except for two things . . .

On the second day, when God separated the waters on the earth from the waters in the sky – in other words, the atmosphere or the heavens – the pattern is broken . . . God simply says,  “it was so” . . .  Why?  Why the change in pattern?  

But the trouble begins, at least for me, when we come to verse 26

“Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’”

The passage goes on to say more about how God commissions the humans to be fruitful and multiply, just like all the rest of creation is fruitful and multiplies.  

And then, at the end of the creation of the two humans, we get this . . . “And it was so”

That’s it?  . . .  Shouldn’t we expect another sentence—that same statement we’ve been hearing over and over again? “And God saw that it was good.”

But it’s not there . . . and if you’re a human that should be a bit troubling.

Now, if you want some reassurance, in the next verse the author takes a step back from the individual acts of creation and tells us what God thinks of the whole.

“God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good” (v. 31).

So, if after God is done with creating, God steps back, and sees that everything is very good . . . then maybe we humans are good too. We are part of the whole, after all.

  • But still, why break the pattern?
  • Why is there not the same affirmation of “goodness” like the rest of creation receives?

I have to wonder if this omission drives the rest of the story.   Remember, this is just the beginning of the story . . . the Genesis; which means “a beginning or origin of something”.  And the beginning always frames the rest of the story

As we read the beginning of this great story of God, we have to ask ourselves:

  • Will the humans God creates turn out to be good at the end?
  • And if so, what will make humans good?

Our passage gives us a hint . . .

“So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

Although we aren’t called good . . .  we bear God’s image—and that’s an important clue.  God created us in his image.  It is the very essence of our being.  We alone have been imprinted with the image of God.

And he gave us dominion over all of creation . . .

But what do we see?  We see a world filled with pain, loneliness, misery, suffering, famine, malnutrition, drought, and poverty.  We see the end of the story of creation utterly unfinished.     

What a mess we have made of things and we have to ask ourselves . . . Are we the image God made us to be?  Is not the image marred almost beyond recognition?

Knowing that we are created in the image of God begs for the rest of the story to be told . . .

Which brings us back to day two of the creation story . . . perhaps there is a connection between the omission of “it is good’ with the creation of man and the same omission when God separated the waters and created the atmosphere. 

If we look further into the story of God, we see that the creation of the atmosphere on second day is the only one that was changed.  Here’s what I mean . . .  Genesis 1:6-8

And God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water." So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. God called the expanse "sky." And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

The sky was created with water both below and above the sky.  What this suggests is that from this time until the time of Noah – a period of more than 1,650 years – there was no rain upon the earth.

No wonder no one believed Noah when he told them about the flood, no one had ever seen rain. 

God had not set the weather system of the sky to allow for rain. His creation of the sky was not yet complete.  That creation was completed as the water “above the sky” was used to create the flood.

You see, God knew that we would make a mess of things.  God knew that mankind would make bad decisions and as a result not be allowed to continue to exist in the perfect relationship he had created with them in the garden of Eden. . . and He knew how He would judge them.

That is why God didn’t call the second day, “good”.  It wasn’t complete and it was the part of creation that God would use to judge mankind.  Not so good.

By removing the water from “above the sky” (which kept His creation of the sky from being complete) and causing it to flood the earth, He both finished the creation of the weather patterns and accomplished His purpose.

And with the completion of the second day, God made a covenant with his people . . .

He says in Genesis 8:21 . . .  “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood, never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.”

This was a covenant of Grace and it is sealed with a rainbow . . . God says in Genesis 9:16

“Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

So, if the creation of the atmosphere receives a completion through the flood, and is resolved by a covenant of Grace perhaps the same is true for the creation of mankind.

Knowing that we are created in the image of God begs for the rest of the story to be told . . .

Belief that we are created in God’s image begs for a completion - in this case a redemption, a transformation, a kind of re-creation, a kind of grace.

And that is what Jesus brings . . .

Hebrews 1:3 says,

“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory, and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”

In Jesus, we have an exact replica of the glory of God.  He is over all, just as God intended for man.  And the image of God in Christ has the power to transform us, to re-create us and to offer us grace.

 

Ephesians 2:8-10; 4:24  “By grace are you saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God – not of works, lest any many should boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works . . . Put on the new nature created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness”

God created us in his image, but we have marred it almost beyond recognition and that is NOT Good. 

But Jesus comes by faith, he forgives, he cleanses, and he begins a reclamation project and he ushers in a new kingdom that will be completed in the glory that God intended for human beings in the first place.

Knowing that we were created in the image of God, begs for the rest of the story to be told.  It begs for an answer to the brokenness we see in this world.  And Jesus is that answer.  

Jesus recovers from our brokenness the reality that male and female are fellow heirs of the grace of life.  And that is Very Good!

But let me tell you what’s gonna happen when you allow Jesus to re-create you . . . God’s spirit will begin to trickle through and penetrate your soul and you’ll begin to see the world a little bit different. 

You’ll begin to see it through the eyes of God and you’ll feel compelled to get involved in the work of God reclamation project. 

  • No longer will those moms we help with the lullaby ministry be just random moms trying to raise some random kids, rather they will all become beautiful children of God who also bear his image and need our help.
  • No longer will that homeless guy standing on the corner just be some homeless guy . . . he becomes a child of God who also bears His image who made some poor decisions and needs you to love him back into the arms of grace.
  • No longer will your neighbor be simply your neighbor but a child of God who also bears his image who needs to hear about what Jesus has done.
  • No longer is Logos Dei just a church but an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ in this city and around the world.

So, dwell on these truths: God created you; he created you in his image; and he created you that you might be utterly and radically and uniquely devoted to Jesus.

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