By Katie Kafka
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'”Genesis 1:27-28
With Genesis 1 in the rearview mirror, this week we traveled through Genesis 2 with our rearview mirror positioned in that sweet spot. When we glance at what is behind, it gives us glimpses and reminders of:
Why did God create?
To declare His glory.
Genesis 2 takes us deeper into the moment in day six of the Creation narrative when God creates man and woman. An expanded account of what we find in chapter 1, Genesis 2 shines light on not just Creator God but also LORD God, Yahweh, the personal God of the Bible. We see how the text still answers the questions of who created and why, but it also clarifies answers to more personal questions. Such as,
How were man and woman created?
” . . . then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.”Genesis 2:7-8
“So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.”Genesis 2:21-22
What were they created to do?
“The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”Genesis 2:15
“Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.'”Genesis 2:18
How are they distinct from the rest of creation?
“The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him…Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”Genesis 2:20, 23-25
This attention to detail was not revealed with any other part of creation, yet we see it here with the creation of mankind. I can only think that it is because we are created in the image of God. He gave us His personal touch. Our very existence is personal to God because we are designed to bear His image in this world so that His glory may be expressed through us.
Knowing that God crafted me in His image, tells me some foundational truth about my identity.
- I am created to bear fruit and multiply.
- I am designated to be a ruler.
- I am equipped to actively participate and assist in the working and stewardship of resources.
- I am designed for relationship and community with man and God.
- I am able to respect boundaries given by God.
- I am designed for a unified, covenantal relationship with a man.
This is how God designed woman in the first creation. These are ways that we can bear the image of God. These are examples of how we bring glory to God with our lives.
As a believer in Christ, it feels easier to grab hold of the identity I have in new creation. To celebrate the saving work of Christ on the cross which has allowed me to become a child of God, adopted into His family. This absolutely is a foundational truth about our identity, but studying Genesis 2 reminded me that I also need to grab hold of my identity detailed in the Creation story, before sin entered the narrative. It is God’s original design for our lives. He proclaimed it very good. Sin ushers in the tension of holding both the first creation and new creation identity. Yet, this tension transforms into peace when we know that one day, He will restore us to His good and perfect design for eternity. May we long for this restoration and pursue righteousness all our days on this Earth. To God be the glory!