The Image of God
Genesis 1:26-28; 2:7, 18-25
Genesis is "the Book of Beginnings." Infidel critics have made concentrated attacks on this book, and wishy-washy "Christian" commentators show the resistance of a jelly roll in place of backbone in its defense.
So a popular lesson book parrots the ridiculous charge that chapters 1 and 2 of Genesis "seem to represent two separate stories of the creation of man." Actually, like any good narrator, Moses simply relates details in chapter 2 which were not given in the grand summation in chapter 1.
Truth really needs no defense; we need only to believe it, and it is still truth whether we believe it or not. Through Moses God has given us His own account of creation, and He is the only One present when it all started. All the fanciful guessing of creatures as to their origin is so much nonsense, and use of fancy terms like "evolutionary hypothesis" does not make it any less nonsensical.
Let us then ignore the "oppositions of science falsely so called" [I Timothy 6:20], giving them the inattention they richly deserve, and proceed to the study of a few fancy facts of Scripture.
Outlining the lesson, we note: 1. Creation, Genesis 1:26-28; 2:7. a. Divine image, 26-27. b. Divine intention, 28. c. Divine investment, 2:7 2. Comparison, Genesis 2:18-20. a. Longing for helpmeet, 18. b. Looking for helpmeet, 19. c. Lacking a helpmeet, 20. 3. Completion, Genesis 2:21-25. a. Woman from man, 21. b. Woman for man, 22. c. Woman with man, 23-25.
NOTES ON THE TEXT:
CREATION, Genesis 1:26-28; 2:7. Here are the facts from the only source of certain knowledge of the facts. If men prefer to speculate and theorize, it is because they have first hardened wicked hearts against divine truth. Divine Image, 26-27. "Image" refers not to physical form, but to mental, moral, and spiritual nature [Colossians 3:10]. Of course it is true that God foreknew the human form of His Son, but this 2 fact is hardly relevant. Outward appearance is not of primary importance to God the eternal Spirit. Divine Intention, 28. God intended that man should rule over all other creatures, and this intention will still be accomplished in Christ [Hebrews 2:5-10; Philippians 2:5-11]. Divine Investment, 2:7. Man became a living soul (and still possesses that soul, though in a depraved state) by virtue of receiving in his nostrils the breath of life from the very breath of God. Only the material body was formed from the dust of the ground; the soul is something else.
COMPARISON, Genesis 2:18-20. Physically man is akin to the lower animals, in that all are creatures of the same God, with some common elements of design. But spiritually man is more than an animal, and needs companionship with his own kind. Longing for Helpmeet, 18. Whether Adam himself was conscious of the longing of his soul for the company of his own kind we are not told; our Creator always knows and understands our needs better than we do ourselves. Possibly is was only by divine revelation that Adam learned of his need for a "help meet" (that is, help suitable) for him. Looking for Helpmeet, 19. "Formed" and "brought" in this verse should be rendered "had formed" and "had brought." Hebrew has no verb tenses in the proper English sense, so that in translation from Hebrew the verbs need to be assigned appropriate English tenses according to context. Here the appropriate tense is pluperfect rather than simple past. Lacking a Helpmeet, 20. By supernatural intuition Adam was able to assign names to all other creatures, but in his state of innocence "there was not found a help meet for him." For a human being to dote on an animal pet to the extent of lavishing on an animal affections appropriate only to humans is unnatural and depraved.
COMPLETION, Genesis 2:21-25. So man is not complete without woman, nor woman without man [I Corinthians 11:11]. In Genesis 1:27 we are told without elaboration that God created mankind male and female; here we are given some further details. Woman from Man, 21. As a matter of historical fact, "the man is not of [literally from] the woman; but the woman of [from] the man" [I Corinthians 11:8]. Woman for Man, 22. "Neither was the man created for [literally on account of or for the sake of] the woman; but the woman for [for the sake of] the man" [I Corinthians 11:9]. Woman with Man, 23-25. Formed from the very bone and flesh of man, though with some differences of detail in construction, woman was not made to be man's antagonist, but rather his complement. In Scriptural marriage the man abandons all other human loyalties for her sake, "and they shall be one flesh." Sex is of the very essence of marriage as designed by the Creator, with nothing shameful about it with Scriptural bounds [Hebrews 13:4]. It is only the misuse and abuse of sex that is shameful and sinful. As long as the first man and woman continued in a state of innocence (probably not very long), there was not reason to be ashamed of their naked bodies. After they sinned in the flesh, undue exposure of sinful flesh did become shameful. Uncivilized savages and civilized nudists and near-nudists may be without shame, but theirs is not the shamelessness of innocence: it is the shamelessness of utter degradation in sin.
CONCLUSION [Psalm 100:3] Creatures properly belong to their Creator. Fallen sinners refuse in their rebellion to recognize this fact; but in the new creation those redeemed by the blood of Christ come to know the true God and to know themselves as His people. =================
[From Ashland Avenue Baptist paper, September 5, 1975. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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