Studies in Genesis 1
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. (Genesis 1:26 ESV)
We want to ask why God does what He does. Why did He create the heavens and the earth? Why did He allow darkness yet then create light? Why did e create in an order which does not seem logical to us? We can surmise many of the answers to how and when but the “why” is hidden in the eternal being of God.
Why did God create man “in His image”? No other creature has His image. All of creation bares the marks of the Creator, the evidence of His work as the ultimate Creator. We can begin to discover what the image of God is, and how it works, what it does, but we cannot know “why” Man has the image of God and not others in His creation. “Why” is not something we have to know.
Knowing how something works and why it works the way it does gives control to the one who knows. God knows all things about all things and, as the Creator, has ultimate and complete control. He cannot, by His nature, be out of control, or lose control of anything He has created, which is everything in existence, whether seen or unseen, physical and temporary or spiritual and eternal.
Actually, we can know “why” God created man in His image. But God has to tell us the answer. He has to reveal His will and reasons. His “why” cannot be known through observation of the evidence of the physical world and universe. His “why” cannot be known through meditation or psychoanalysis or by any level of thinking or feeling or acting. He reveals to us why He created us in His image through the special revelation of His Spirit through His Word. Still, we must be willing to accept His reasons.
He does not tell us His reasons in Genesis as He creates Man in His image. He hints at why throughout the Hebrew Scripture, which we call the Old Testament. These hints explicitly point toward the absolute revelation of His will in the life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ.
For now, we are going to put the question “why” to the side and seek to discover “what” the image of God is which He gave to Man. We will use all of Scripture but begin with observations from the first chapter of Genesis.