My wife caught me flexing in the mirror the other day.
To be frank, I am not the perfect specimen of a man. But, there are days when I like the way that I look and others where I am embarrassed to leave the house. I don’t know why my mind thinks this way, but it does… and quite frequently.
This got me thinking, aren’t we all created in the image of God? We are the the pinnacle of His creation, in whom He is well pleased.
If we believe the Bible is divinely inspired and inerrant, we should do everything that it tells us to do. Therefore, we need to first know what the Bible says about what we are charged to do.
Turn to the book of Genesis.
The book of Genesis is written by Moses. He sought to teach the Israelites who have left Egypt on their history. The Israelites would have easily understood the Ancient Near East context and connotation associated with the words of Moses. Let’s look at the creation of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the LordGod made the earth and the heavens.
5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth[ and no plant had yet sprung up, for theLord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush.14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. 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. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 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 then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
There are a few important theological implications here. Moses reveals that Yahweh is king. When the Lord completes his creation, the name to which he is referred to changes from Elohim to Yahweh. This is the Lord’s covenant name and emphasizes the fact the Yahweh is King and rules over his creation.
If you look back at Genesis 1, the Lord gives man the first command:
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
Humanity is first called to bear the image of God. As Christians, we are called to “plant the Lord’s flag.” Moses uses this language to warn against the threat of paganism in the Promise Land. The first charge to humanity is to bear the image of God in this land and not to live according to the customs that were previously established.
God’s charge to humanity has not changed. We have a covenant relationship with God.
– We are called to bear the image of God. If we do, we are entitled to receive the covenant blessings of God. If not, we will be separated from the Love of God.
– We are called to bear the image of God in all society. Our Christian friends should be the ‘practice ground’ for living out our faith. We love one another, we hold each other accountable, and we can practice loving our neighbor as ourselves.
– We are called to live apart from the world. Bearing the image of God goes against what this world stands for. This world idolizes greed, lust, sloth, and entitlement. Jesus said the the world will hate us because they do not understand us.
– The Devil will try to remove us from the blessings of God. If we are not working on our relationship, how will it grow stronger? Think about a good friend that you’ve grown away from? Why did that happen? Did you become so comfortable that you stopped working on that friendship? If we are working to further our relationship with God, we are a threat to the devil.
What do you see when you look in the mirror? Is your image polluted?
When people look at you do they see God?