Scripture: Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. Genesis 1:26 and 2:19 ESV
Observation: Moses, the author of Genesis (as the historical Church contends), provides two versions of the Creation Story in these opening chapters. Both accounts harmonize two central themes: our Triune God spoke our universe into existence and commissioned humankind (made in his image) to co-create within our realms of influence.
Takeaway: While subduing demonstrates authority, naming expresses a symbiotic relationship—both of which are means of emulating our Creator’s activity as his image-bearers. Indeed, the two are inseparable. While our Lord invites us to exercise his God-given authority where he has placed us in leadership positions, our intentions should always be to bless our Creator and his creation—moving us closer to him and others. But there remains one obstacle to fulfilling this mandate: sin. As chapter 3 of Genesis reveals, sin mars our god-bearing images and hence our creative works. One such example is the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). God blessed humankind with the intelligence and skill to make bricks to support taller structures. Having succumbed to sin, these craftsmen sought to use their creative abilities to obtain equal status with God. Resultantly, the Lord confused their once united language and scattered humankind across the face of the earth.
Thankfully, from the beginning of creation, God planned to restore the distance caused by sin. In Christ, our Lord fills us with the Holy Spirit, who gifts us with abilities, intelligence, and other skills required to create in life-giving ways that move us closer to him and others (Ephesians 2:10). The Holy Spirit equips us to create beauty and rest out of the mire and chaos of our fallen world—pointing lost souls to their Creator. And when we follow the Lord’s lead, we discover that his divine creative energy is all the while transforming us into a more remarkable likeness of him.
Prayer: Father God, we thank you for creating our universe and the beauty of life as we know it. And thank you for granting us dominion over our world, that we might thrive in harmony with it. Would you please help us assume authority over our realms of influence, co-creating in ways that move us closer to you and others, thereby reflecting your glory? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling