Before the universe was, there was nothing: a vast dark infinity without time, beginning, light or sound. Except, in that place known as heaven where God resided, One in Three, Father, Son and Holy Spirit in perfect fellowship, surrounded by multitudes of angelic beings worshipping their God day and night. Here there was the light and joy of God, the music of the heavenly hosts and perfect peace.
But the heart of God was restless. And a restless heart is not easily satisfied. God had the worship of the heavenly hosts but they were created to worship. God had the perfect fellowship of the triune Godhead but His heart was restless still. We cannot know what was in the mind of God except by what He has revealed to us in His word and echoes of His creation.
We exist because of God’s restless heart. It is a heart made for fellowship and worship. Why God would crave the fellowship of others is hard to fathom but that is His heart, to give and to receive love. The very fact that we exist is testimony to the loving heart of God who chose to give us life. He did not need mankind but he chose to bless us with life so that we could live in fellowship with Him. Without His love we would not be.
Every story has a beginning and this one does as well. In fact, this beginning reveals the amazing heart of God for He chose to not only bring creation into being but to create the master work of His creation, mankind, in His image. Everything in this story, everything important to you goes back to these amazing and incomprehensible words:
“Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them (Genesis 1:26-27).”
These simple words contain within them the amazing heart of God. In creating the universe and fashioning our planet, in setting the stars in place with its billions of numbers, in carving out the seas and forming the mountain heights, God showed his creativity.
Into that setting he brought the life of flora and fauna that brings beauty to our days and food for our bodies. The animals of the land, the birds of the sky and the fish of the sea reflect not only His creativity but His sense of humor. What child is not delighted to go to the zoo and marvel at the amazing faces that stare back at them and laugh at the antics of chimpanzees or the impossibly long necks of giraffes!
This is no Darwinian saga but the creativity of our amazing God. What do you think He was thinking when He created the kangaroo? Or the peacock? Or playful dolphins and funny looking penguins? Or what about dinosaurs? Anyone who thinks God does not have a sense of humor has not looked carefully at His creation!
But the last of His creation was different in every way. The words, “Let us make mankind in our likeness” or “image” puts a great distance between all other creation and the creation of man and woman. Here was not an expression of His humor but His heart. For here the creator endows His created with nobility, a precious and unprecedented gift – something of Him, something that reflects His majesty, something that no other creature has: His Image! Not only did God personally form the first man but He breathed His breath into him, “the breath of life, and the man became a living being (Genesis 2:7).”
You and I and every human who has ever walked this earth are image bearers of our creator! Think about that. You are made in God’s image. You were deliberately created by God in His image. In some way you bear His likeness. He is the God of the universe and you are imaged after Him. Even after the fall when Adam and Eve fell into sin remnants of that image remain.