As we commemorate Adam and Eve today, we read about creation in an excerpt from In the Beginning, God: Creation from God’s Perspective.
On the sixth day of creation, God created man in His image. But what does “in His image” mean? Our devotional reading today reflects on God’s careful care in creating Adam and Eve.
The creation of mankind on the sixth day invests human beings with the dignity of being made in the image of God. Scholars have written extensively on the meaning of the image of God. Because only human beings are created in the image of God, that image must refer to those qualities that separate mankind from other created beings, such as higher levels of intelligence, including the capability of abstract thought, better ability to communicate, a sense of morality, the ability to be in a personal relationship with God, and the responsibility for dominion over nature. This idea is not welcome in some Darwinian circles, which tend to think of mankind as merely a more highly evolved animal. However, the Bible is clear in teaching that mankind is created in the image of God, and only mankind. Adam and Eve were the high point of God’s creation. The word image is concrete, while the word likeness is abstract, but basically both mean the same thing. The phrase “in our likeness” may have been used to avoid the idea that mankind is an exact image of God. The phrase “Let us” (Genesis 1:26) alludes to the persons of the Trinity. . . .
Genesis states that God spoke to Adam (Genesis 1:28–30; 2:16–18; 3:9), and one of the things He undoubtedly told him was how Adam got to Eden. What would be more natural than for Adam, shortly after his creation, to ask who he was, where he came from, and why was he there? So we have a natural progression from God speaking broadly in chapter 1, more specifically to the unfallen Adam in chapter 2, and still more specifically to the fallen Adam in chapter 3. The speaking of God to man continues in chapter 4, as God speaks to Cain (Genesis 4:6, 9–12, 15). Later passages refer back to incidents reported earlier to form the links of a chain that can be traced all the way back to the beginning. Genesis 1 as history, spoken by God, makes sense.
O Lord God, heavenly Father, . . . since You are not willing that any should perish, bless our world with peace so that Your saving message will not be hindered. . . . In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Devotional reading is from In the Beginning, God: Creation from God’s Perspective, pages 29–30, 34. Text © 2011 Joel D. Heck. Published by Concordia Publishing House.
Prayer is from Prayers Responsively, page 75 © 1984 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.