And so, my desire has always been that together we continue to grow ever closer to our Papa God with each post, each reflection. That as we grapple with thoughts, questions and as a result we get a closer glimpse into the very character of God Himself, coming to know Him in ever-increasing measures, that we all can’t help but fall in love with the God who is over all yet chooses to be intimately known by His beloved created people. Here’s to an ever-growing sense of awe and loving worship for our almighty, merciful and loving Father God.
The creation story…there’s a lot to dwell on…for instance, “hovering” & the role of the Holy Spirit in this world, in our lives…being created in God’s very image and all that says about humankind…
I'm immediately drawn to the idea of mankind being made in the “image of God,” even more specifically, how it relates to the mandate to exercise dominion over all of creation
God begins his mass creating. There’s much to note here. We (humankind) are but a part of ALL his creating (a humbling reality all by itself). We are reminded that we are but dust. We, LIKE THE REST, are brought to life and blessed to be fruitful and multiply (something in the fullness of ALL His creation itself reveals the very glory of God).
Yet, in giving mankind life, an intimacy is also seen that exceeds that of the rest of His creation. The idea that God breathed life “into man’s nostrils” seems to point to that intimate relationship, somehow different from the rest.
And then there’s that magnificent intention by God to uniquely make man in His very own image! We could guess at length what that phrase alone may mean but if we begin to explore it alongside the creation mandate and then simply begin with what Scripture reveals of God himself it would begin to hint at God’s intended purposes for mankind. [Though, may we never forget, that in our limited finiteness our explorations here are simply only the beginning of scratching the surface of God’s almighty creative intent] And, God of course never states that being created in his image relies solely to the creation mandate, yet for brevity, it’s a great place to begin since God himself begins here when He puts the two thoughts together.
So, let’s begin with God’s intent for mankind (created in His very image) to exercise dominion over all of creation. As God’s image, what would that look like? We know from Psalm 145 that God is gracious, compassionate, good, faithful, loving, generous, and protective to “ALL HE HAS MADE.” As Wright says, “God’s characteristic act is to bless, and it is God’s constant care that ensures” that ALL THE NEEDS OF ALL CREATION are met.
We are describing the idea of a ‘servant-kingship’ (unfamiliar as it is to the "American way") from which mankind, created in God’s image, is to exercise dominion over all of creation.
“A king exists for the benefit of his people, not vice versa. The metaphor that expresses this, which was common throughout the ancient Near East and not just in Israel as a metaphor for kingly rule, was that of the shepherd. Kings were shepherds of their people. The primary responsibility of shepherds is to care for the sheep, not to exploit or abuse them. The very word ‘shepherd’ speaks of responsibility, more than of rights and powers.
If we (mankind created in God’s very own image) are to have dominion over all of God’s creation, then we are called to live in peace with them, as good shepherds and humble servants, intervening, as God’s representatives, to set things right." (p122, Wright)
To think that God would choose to create humankind to be his very tangible representatives who would live out what He intended in exercising dominion over ALL OF HIS CREATION in a way that would display His very own Servant-Kingship nature is beyond comprehension. Amazing that He would want to entrust mankind with such a great task as this. And, don’t miss the fact that the task has to do with ALL OF CREATION (mankind, animals, birds, waters, land, skies…).
Thankfully we have not been left to ourselves to achieve such a great task. God himself, who gave us this very task, has also made himself known to us as our Father and our very role model. He is also our strength and our very present help in all He himself desires to accomplish through us (His children, His people).
I’m reminded once again, God has told us that it is “not by power (our own), nor by might (again, our own), but by My Spirit says the Lord.” …and so, the Holy Spirit hovers, poised to help, always pointing to the truth, to our savior & king, and glorifying God (with that same power that raised Jesus from the dead) as He enables us to achieve God’s glorious intentions!
May we always pray for continual godly wisdom, direction and power to administer compassionate justice throughout God’s created world, as we seek first God’s kingdom, living under His reign, desiring to make God’s kingdom living known throughout this world as God is even now making all things new, as He continues to seek the lost, restore the broken, free the captives and bring hope to the hopeless! One day, very soon, ALL the old sinful things will pass away and we will finally be face-to-face with God’s righteous eternal reign! Praise God!
(haha, saw it fitting to go from “creation to creation” – beginning with creation and ending with the new creation. But please remember, that currently we live in the interim, between these two great beginnings. And it is right here & right now (at this time, in this place, and in this very moment) where God is calling US to faithfully live out His creation mandate!)
…blessed to be a blessing! love ya! : )