26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
I was looking over Genesis 1 and 2 using the new Logos Bible software that my wife purchased. It had connection to a number of commentaries and so I browsed through them.
The first thing that struck me was man’s relation to the soil. The word for earth and the word for man in Hebrew are very similar to each other. It implies to me an earthiness that is in man. The term earthiness describes a person who is unaffected. I hear in it a sense of innocence, which is evocative of mankind’s state in the garden. Of course the term can also mean unrefined and crass, but we won’t push things too far. When I think of affected people, I think of people who have added layers and layers of masks. They are hypocrites. This reflection is not the result of solid exegesis. It is probably not in the mind of the original author or the reader. However, it does connect me with a deeper appreciation of cutting things down to their essence. What is it that makes a person all that he should be? What is it that we add that makes a person something corrupted? Even when we think that our additions and refinements? How have we departed through our tinkering from the original design of God?
The second thing that struck me was that the introduction of mankind was a pinnacle. The text builds its creation narrative toward a man who is superior to all else around him save God himself. The majesty of man stands out. Somehow we have abased ourselves, but we were meant to be the pinnacle. It seems arrogant to walk out into undisturbed nature and think of ourselves as its master. However, we were designed to cut down, control, and cultivate. What a heady responsibility!
As we walk this earth let us see our true potential. Help us not to accrue gaudy trinkets, unaware of their vulgarity. May we let go of schemes which lead us farther from you. Thank you for the dignity that you give to the unclothed baby purely because they belong to the human race.
- How are the words for Adam, mankind and earth related?
- What is the role of mankind?
- Why does mankind have its own distinct creation story on day 6?
- How has mankind lost his relationship with the earth?
- How can we regain some of the dignity of being the pinnacle of creation?