LESSON 3:
origins
 
Lesson 3A Picture of God
00:00 / 06:45

Audio

Start Here

Long before life existed on here earth, God, the God of love, created the universe. Contrary to popular books, which teach that the universe arose out of nothing, it was a loving and powerful Creator who spun all these galaxies across the cosmos. And He did it all out of the love that is the very essence of His character.

 

But this God of love also created our earth, and He did so out of the same love which created the cosmos itself.  Popular science teaches that some glob of lava cooled, and upon that cooling blob of molten lava some chemicals evolved into life, including human life. In other words, instead of humans being made in the image of a God of love, they were made in the image of apes. Love had nothing to do with it.

 

In contrast, the Bible tells a different story. A story of a creation formed, not by chance, but by love—God’s love.

 

The biblical account goes, somewhat, like this.

 

Day one, He created light and divided it from darkness. He called the light day and the dark night.

It was good.

Day two, He created atmosphere from the waters already there, and he made the water cycle.

It was good.

Day three, He caused the land to gather from under the water to produce masses and filled it with vegetation.

It was good.

Then, God decided to fill the space that He had created.

Day four, He created our sun, the stars, and our moon. He formed the bodies in space and set them in motion.

It was good.

Day five, He created the sea life and the birds of the air.

It was good.

Day six, He created land animals. From the creepy crawlies to the great beasts, they were all created.

It was good.

The Story Begins

 

Humanity

 

And, too, on that same day, day six, He created humanity, “in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27). He wanted to create something that would reflect Him, that would reflect the selfless love which existed within the Trinity. So, at the end of day six, God created humans. He came down and formed man and woman with His own hands (Genesis 2:7, 22).  

Imago Dei

So, He created a man and a woman. He set them together and conducted the first marriage ceremony (Genesis 2:23-25). When they saw each other for the first time, they knew only perfection, holiness—and love.  They knew only the good. There was no desire to selfishly take advantage of each other. And though naked, they were unashamed. God created them as partners to live together in a monogamous relationship, a man and a woman. And when they consummated their love in the wonderful gift of sex, they would produce children. Thus, God gifted Adam and Eve with the ability to also create more life and more love. This model of marriage was an image of the glory of God.

The Story Begins

Marriage

This union of a man and a woman is partially what the Bible means when it says that God created humankind in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). Not only were humans created in appearance like God, but they were also part of an intimate love relationship with each other and, simultaneously, with God. Through this holy union of love between two people and God, they were able to create more love in the form of new life. This would be the greatest human reflection of the love of God.

 

Marriage was an institution given to mankind to reflect the image and character of God. It was through the self-sacrificing and mutually loving and humble respect for one another that the marriage relationship would demonstrate the relationship that the Trinity shared amongst themselves.

 

Meanwhile, the loving care that married parents would show their children would be to them the greatest immediate illustration of who God was. They would see in each of their parents’ qualities, which would give them insights into the character of God. The love that they would have for their parents would grow. They would love God by way of loving their parents.

 

God also put Adam and Eve in positions of authority on the earth. He gave them dominion over all the earth and the animals (Genesis 1:28). This authority that He invested in humanity was to be reflective of His loving style of leadership and lordship over the universe. So, through their love for the earth and the animals, they were to represent God to creation as stewards of the world He created for them all to share together.

 

Rest

When God had finished creating, He rested. He didn’t need to rest to regain lost strength, as humans do. He rested for a different purpose. He rested for love. He made a special day on the seventh day, called the Sabbath (Genesis 2:1-3). It was to be a holy day where God would uniquely come and visit together, in person, with Adam and Eve. He memorialized a time when He would share the joys and lives of all those on earth. It would take place on the seventh day of every week. The dominion that God invested in Adam and Eve over all creation would be resubmitted back to God in worship on the Sabbath. God would share in the joys and excitements of His creation, then reinvest them with authority yet again for the next week. The relationship was more of a loving parent and child than of a dictator and a servant.

 

But the Sabbath wasn’t given just for a recognition of God’s authority by His creation. God gave the Sabbath as a gift for the earth. He gave it as a special institution that would refresh the creation. It was to be a celebration of life. It was a time for fellowship, community, reconnection, and joy. Therefore Isaiah 66:23 says that we will have a weekly Sabbath when God restores humanity back to the place it was before they disobeyed God. Today we still have the opportunity to enjoy the weekly Sabbath with our Creator.  And, today, too, with such concern about the environment, the Sabbath is a powerful way of helping sustain our own present home.

 

 
Image by Aubrey Rose Odom

Amazingly enough, the two institutions that God had created in a perfect world, that arose from a perfect world, remain with us today. He gave us the gift of marriage (if we want it); and He gave us the gift of the Sabbath.  Both have taken even greater significance in the world that we live in today. Marriage provides us with unique love, loyalty, and companionship in a creation that can be harsh and unfriendly. The Sabbath provides us with refuge in time to be refreshed and restored in peace in the midst of our stormy planet.

 

Thus, in contrast to common understandings of our origins, the Bible gives us a picture of love. Love between God and humanity. Love between Adam and Eve.  Love, unselfish love, was the dominant force, the dominant characteristic of the creation.  All the earth was in harmony. Through creation, through marriage, and through the Sabbath—love, God’s love, was powerfully revealed in the creation itself.  Love — perfect, holy, selfless love — that is what dominated the earth.

Two Edenic Institutions

Course Work

Next Lesson:
Lesson 4 - War