The first two chapters of the book of Genesis are invaluable tools for establishing God’s original and perfect intent for creation. It is here we find His perfect pattern—His signature blueprint—His magnum opus if you will. If you want to understand how things are supposed to be—what the perfect will of God was—just look at the beginning, which is what the word “genesis” means.
On the sixth day God created man (the original word means male and female—i.e. humanity). Genesis 1:26-31 tells us God created man in His image and likeness. God bestowed glory on the man and woman in their creation. He honored them by doing this. They and their descendant were to be the visible representatives of the invisible God.
Psalm 8:4-6 reveals the depth of what God intended in creation: “What is man, that You take thought of him? And the son of man, that You care for him. Yet You have made him a little lower than God (the word is Elohim—the same Hebrew word used in Genesis 1 and 2 for God), and do crown him with glory (honor) and majesty (another word meaning ornament, splendor, and honor)! You made him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet.”
Humanity was clothed in God’s glory. We are not gods and never will be, but we are dressed in God’s glory. He gave it to us along with majesty. In creation, humanity was honored by being created in God’s image and likeness—dressed by God with glory—with honor. At the culmination of that day, God spoke something different than on the previous days. He said, “This is very good!” That superlative makes all the difference.
On that day God gave humanity an intrinsic value through how and when they were made. They were the last things created—the apex of His creative masterpiece. Creation follows a pattern that gets progressively more complex the farther it goes. He stamped them with value and affixed a price tag within them that read “Precious.” Along with this honor, God gave them dominion—the right to rule all creation. Clothed in His glory they were to express the weight of that glory through their attitudes and actions to the rest of creation.
You know the story—they blew it. But in blowing it, they did not lose the gift of honor or glory given them through their creation. That image and likeness is still there—though marred a bit. That’s why Jesus came—to restore everything that had been lost.
Now back to this idea of cultivating a culture of honor—this honor given at creation is still inherent in the human package. It is a part of our essence. We don’t earn honor, grow into honor, or even achieve honor. Every person is given honor as a part of who they are. It doesn’t matter whether you’re born in middle class America or a poverty-riddled slum in some third world country—male or female—educated or illiterate—red, yellow, brown, black, or white skinned. You have value—not for what you can do, but because of who you are. You are created in the image and likeness of God. You are the image bearer—an Imago Deo—of God. A faint one…maybe—a messed up one…perhaps—a marred one…certainly, but when all is said and done—you are one—created in the image and likeness of God.
This may be a bit more than you can swallow—something you might have to chew on for a while, so I’ll stop. Check it out—don’t take my word for it, but certainly don’t believe all the gobble-d-gook you’ve been fed by shrinks and charlatans, would be erudite college professors, and self-proclaimed Bible experts. We did not—never happened—crawl up out of the muck and soup of creation to where we are today, but we have certainly crawled back into it through disobedience and dishonor. We have not evolved, but we are devolving because what we’ve cultivated is a far different crop than the original one God planted.