Who Am I and How Did I Get Here?
This is probably the most important question that anyone could get the answer to. When one follows the biblical account of the Creation, one finds that man or, more specifically, mankind was the last creative act of God; and it came at the conclusion of the creation week. Theologians give this a name: the “anthropic” principle. God made everything that man needed and then made man to rule and reign in this perfectly created environment, one which is known as a space, time dimension with specific emphasis on planet earth.
Only the earth has what it takes to correctly sustain life as we know it. When God finished creating, we were God’s “crown jewel” of perfection, better than anything He had created and made prior to Adam and Eve, our first parents.
The watery sphere that appeared according to the Word of God was good, but not quite what He wanted all by itself. The light that He spoke into existence added to it, but wasn’t enough. The earth coming up out of the waters that became the dry land, all the stars of heaven (the cosmos), the vegetation, and the animals that followed were all what He wanted; but, until He made man, He was neither finished nor satisfied. (Genesis [which means “The Beginning”] chapters 1-3)
The Bible teaches that God wanted someone with whom to fellowship who was capable of loving and responding to love. He desired someone who could reason, make choices, and have the capability of a certain amount of creativity in the sense of problem solving, design, building, etc.
The Scriptures tell us that we were made in God’s image. That’s not referring to the way we look on the outside. There are those who erroneously teach that God is six foot two and weighs about two hundred pounds or so and has a hand span of nine inches. The idea that we are made in “His image” also has nothing to do with our being little gods, which is a false teaching from long ago. In fact, it’s the very first lie that Satan used to tempt (test for failure) Eve. These false teachers reckon that when zebras have offspring they give birth to little zebras; therefore, when God made us in His image we were made little gods. The proponents of these teachings are false teachers like Kenneth Copeland and the rest of the Word Faith Movement.
On the surface this might sound reasonable; but when it’s scratched a little deeper, we find that it’s not reasonable, nor logical, nor correct when considering the Hebrew grammar.
“Mankind in God’s image and likeness. Two Hebrew words are used in Old Testament passages that assert that man was made in the ‘image and likeness’ of God. (Genesis 1:26, 27) The word selem means ‘image,’ ‘representation.’… Dmut, translated ‘likeness,’ is a word of comparison. It is used to attempt to explain something by referring to something else that it is like…the likeness-image is not of physical form.… It is the inner nature of human beings that reflects something vital in the nature of God…the likeness is rooted in all that is required to make a human person in our intellectual, emotional, and moral likeness to God.” (Lawrence O. Richards, Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, Zondervan, 1985, pp. 350-351)
Here’s the important bottom line: “Hebrew scholars point out that the word ‘likeness’ [Dmut]…‘defines and limits’ the other word translated image [selem]…in Genesis 1:26, 27 to avoid the implication that man is a precise copy of God, albeit miniature.” (R. Laird Harris, Gleason Archer, and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament)
There are many false teachers in the world, especially in TV land, where they are the so-called “televangelists,” but also in any and all Hollywood versions of movies, even those that supposedly have biblical themes. We must be cautious, therefore, and learn what the Bible actually teaches first; otherwise, we’re not able to discern truth from error.
We were created by God as His finest act of creation. We are equipped by God to function as creatures that are able to communicate with God by the fact that He made us able to think, reason, postulate, and make decisions. We’re even empowered to make what scholars call “contrary choice,” which is an attribute that God Himself doesn’t possess, and all this besides being capable overseers of this planet and all that it contains. We, however, ruined our superior position by disobeying God. What does this mean?
This is where the power of “contrary choice” enters in. Simply put, we choose not to obey the LORD God. As the sovereign Creator, God has the right to do whatever He wishes. We, in fact, owe it to God to obey His every command. Psalm 24:1-2 declares, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; the world and they that dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.”
God truly owns the world and all that’s in it, including every one of us. As absolute and supreme owner, He is also absolute and supreme ruler over that which He owns. This is why every human being owes God a debt of obedience just for being His creation.
Understanding this first is paramount to understanding the rest of the Scriptures and our relationship to God and each other as fellow created human beings. No animals were created with the privileges that we humans have.