John Ortberg (writing for Leadership.com, I believe) made the following observations: “In ancient Mesopotamian culture, only kings were made in the image of a powerful god; peasants were actually thought to be made by inferior Gods. This is what the writer of Genesis challenges: Then God said, “let us make human beings in our image; in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish…” So God created human beings in his own image, In the image of God he created them; Male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26-27
“This is single most world-changing truth about human dignity and equality ever recorded. Imagine what it did to the heart of peasants and slaves when they heard that not just kings but EVERY human being was made in the divine image.
“What if there was a community where everybody treated everybody else as if they were a king? Nobody on top; nobody on bottom?
“This is why low self esteem is so painful-you were made to experience life as an image-bearer. This is why the mis-treatment of another human being is so serious. This is why justice can never be separated from the gospel.
“The fact that you were made in the image of God tells you not just about your worth, but also about your destiny. The main point of ‘image of God’ language in scripture is not about some ability or trait we share with God, its about the mission He has given us.
“In ancient times, there was no media or internet; the king would set up an image (TSELEM) of himself in every corner of his empire so people would know whose kingdom they were in. (Kind of like politicians now put their picture in post offices).
“Genesis is saying that just as a king would place images of himself around so people would know who was ruling, ‘So God has placed his own image, human beings, into his world so that the world can see who its ruler is.’ N. T. Wright
“God’s plan was to graciously share His power through Spirit-breathed little dust bunnies.
“Through our learning, our work, our culture, our relationships, technology, the arts, medicine; we are with humility to add goodness and beauty to families and societies and creation so that God’s whole project becomes a glorious delight to all who see it.”
Dust bunnies? Yes, when compared to God Almighty, we are of no more significance than dust bunnies are to us as humans. Yet the Everlasting God has breathed His Spirit into us, stamping His image on all believers so that the world will know whose world this is and give Him glory.
PRAYER: Thank You for creating us to be walking, talking exhibits of Who You are. Help us to live up to that challenge, and for those struggling with who and what they are, help them to be blessed by knowing Your image is stamped deep in them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>