Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness; and let them have dominion over…all the earth. – Genesis 1:26.
Such was the counsel and deliberation of the Holy Trinity in creation. Great are the works of the Lord that we see, and most marvelous. But the foremost among the visible creatures is man. For he was made the ruler of the earth; he is to have dominion over everything that is on earth; even the sun, moon, and stars were created to serve his benefit (Genesis 1:14-15).
As you may read in Genesis 1 and 2, God Himself prepared the body of man with particular love and care, endowed him with body and soul, and, above all, made him in His image, in the likeness of God. This last point is seen from our text. And the image of God consisted in this that man was created in righteousness and holiness like that of God, and that he possessed a knowledge of God, including a knowledge of what God required of him (Ephesians 4:24 & Colossians 3:10). Thus man is the foremost of the visible creatures of God.– But woe is us!
How shamefully disfigured in body and soul are we through sin! The image of God’s holiness in which Adam and Eve were created has been lost; and their descendants, including all of us, have been born in their fallen image of sinfulness and corruption (Genesis 5:3). But in the regenerate Christians a beginning of the renewal of God’s image has been made, which is the new man (Ephesians 4:24 & Colossians 3:10). Finally in heaven the image of God shall be restored in us fully. Thus the psalmist writes: “I will behold Thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness” (Psalm 17:15).
PRAYER – Lord, my God, though I, and all mankind, have fallen very low in sinful wretchedness, yet Thou hast graciously exalted me as Thy child and began a renewal of Thine own image within me through the power of the Holy Ghost. As Thou hast bent down to me in mercy for Jesus’ sake and drawn me to Thee in faith, I ask Thee to draw me finally to heaven, into supreme exaltation and perfection. Praise and glory be to Thee, my God! Finish Thy work in me, and leave me not, O faithful Lord! Amen.
O Love, who madest me to wear the image of Thy Godhead here;
Who soughtest me with tender care through all my wand’rings wild and drear
– O Love, I give myself to Thee, Thine ever, only Thine, to be.
Hymn 397, 1. (TLH)