Midrash on Genesis Chapters 1-3 Part 8

Study 8. The Seven Days of Creation.

Day 6 and 7

“So God created man in His own image. ”

“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness. And let him rule over the fish of the sea and the girds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:26-27)

 His Crowing Achievement

The crowning achievement of God’s creative work was the creation of man. God had created everything else and saw that it was very good but none of His creatures had the capacity to have a personal relationship with Him. So God decided to create a being in His own image, someone who could communicate with Him and enjoy a relationship with Him. As it has been said, the purpose that God created man was “to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” Like God man was created to live forever. God’s original intention for man was not to get old and die. As it is written, “He has also set eternity in the hearts of men” (Ecclesiastes 3:11a). The whole duty of man we are also told is to, “fear God and to keep His commandments” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Before the fall keeping God’s commands and enjoying unbroken fellowship with him was man’s greatest joy and delight. Man was to be God’s representative over all that He had created on the earth and to rule over God’s creation. Man was created with this capacity.

Crowned with Glory and Honour

Man was created a little lower than God Himself. As it is written, “When I consider the heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of Him. The son of man that You care for Him? You made him a little lower than God and crowned him with glory and honour. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; You put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the path of the seas” (Psalm 8:3-8).

Life on other planets?

Many think that there could be life on other planets and that may be a possibility but there is no creature anywhere in the universe higher than man either in intelligence or design as man was made “a little lower than God.” The whole record of the Bible was written for the benefit of the Adamic race. While man continues to search for life on other planets and if there happens to be life elsewhere, man will never find any creature that is superior to himself. However, in the Bible we are dealing with the Adamic Race.

In God’s Image and likeness

Now we read “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

Literally in the Hebrew text it can be rendered this way, “Then God (Elohim, plural) said (singular verb) “Let Us (plural) make man in our image.” Right from the start as in Genesis 1:1 God is revealed as a God who has a plurality of nature. While the word “Trinity” does not exist in the Bible there is no doubt that from the beginning of the Bible we are told that there are three distinctive persons who are all God. Of course the whole Bible clearly reveals this wonderful truth.

The Shema reveals the triune nature of God

In the great Jewish confession called the “Shema” the plurality of God’s nature is clearly revealed. We find it in Deuteronomy 6:4 which reads, “Hear O Israel the LORD our God, the LORD is one!” In the Hebrew text the very words, “our God” are in the plural and literally mean “our Gods.” The text is not telling us that there are three Gods but that there are three persons within the One God. The key word in understanding the concept of the Trinity within the Godhead is the word “one” which is the Hebrew word “Echad.” The word does not mean an “absolute one” but a “compound one.” For example in (Genesis 1:5) the combination of evening and morning comprise “one (echad) day” then in (Ezra 2:64) we are told that the whole assembly of Israel was as “one” (echad) although it was composed of numerous people or persons. Again it is used in (Ezekiel 37:17) where two separate sticks are combined to become “one” (echad).

“One flesh” (Echud)

The best example we can see is in the union between Adam and Eve. In Genesis chapter two verse twenty-four we are told that the two became “one flesh.” The same word “echad” is used. They were one yet two separate persons within that oneness. When the child comes then there is three. Man and women made in God’s image reflect the Triunity of the Godhead in whose image and likeness they were created. When you look at man himself he is a tri-partite being reflecting the Triune nature of God. So then the word echad in scripture shows it to be a compound unity and not an absolute unity. So the text is rightly rendered when it says, “Let us make man in our image.”

In the the ‘Image’ of God

The word “image” in the Hebrew is an interesting word in itself and is equivalent to a similar modern word used today in the Hebrew language that means to take a photograph. Adam and Eve also reflected the physical likeness of God. In the Bible we are told that God is Spirit, and rightly so, and that a spirit does not have flesh and bone, however, we are told that God has eyes and hands and appeared in the Old Testament in human form. He was not literally flesh and blood as the Lord Jesus would become flesh, however, God did appear in the person of the Angel of the Lord who was none other than the pre-incarnate Son of God who pre-existed, who was the Word Himself that in the beginning was with God and was God and was face to face with God. So Adam and Eve were created in God’s image and likeness. Not only did they reflect God’s nature and character but also His physical likeness as well. In the book of Revelation we see God depicted as sitting on a throne. This was not imagery but a personality that John actually saw with his own eyes.

The Divine Order

Also notice the text here in Genesis says, “In the image of God He created him, male and female He created them.” Both men and women were created in God’s image and likeness. They were two separate persons but both created in God’s image and likeness. God’s original intention was that both of them were equally made in His image. While God had separate functions for them and made man the head He still called them “one flesh.” Man was not created to be superior to women or women to be superior to men. As far as God was concerned they were one in His sight. It has been said that the woman was not taken from the man’s head to rule over him, neither was she taken from his feet to be suppressed but from his side where he could protect her and care for her and that they could walk as one with God as their head. After the fall women fell into a subordinate position to men and man was given authority to rule over her, however, in Christ men and women are restored to their original standing before God. As it is written, “In Christ there is neither male nor female.”  While men and women have their distinctive rolls in life according to God’s original purpose for them, in Christ, that true unity and original purpose is fulfilled. Now let’s continue.

(Genesis 1:28) “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground”

The earth will fulfil the original purpose for which it was created

When God created man His intention was that there would be harmony between every created being whether animal or man. Adam was given the authority over all creation, a trust as it were from God to manage His creation. As we will see Adam the first man was given the capacity to name all of the animals. He could communicate with them, not verbally, but in a way that created harmony between him and the animal world. The animals did not hunt man neither did man hunt the animals. Only after the fall of man was the whole of creation affected and since then the creation itself, “has been groaning as in the pains of child birth right up to this present time.” (Romans 8:22) However, in the Millennium the earth will fulfil the original purpose for which it was created. During that time when the Lord Jesus Christ the Messiah reigns on the earth with His saints the creation itself will be restored. Animals and men will no longer kill each other. War between nations will come to an end. Sickness and disease will be eliminated and people will live to be very old for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 2:1-5) (Isaiah 11:6-9) (Isaiah 65:17-25)

(Genesis 1:29-31) “Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground-everything that has the breath of life in it-I give every green plant for food” And it was so. God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning-the sixth day” .

Vegetarian

Before the fall man and beast alike were not carnivorous at all but vegetarians. God never intended man to eat the flesh of animals neither did he intend animals to eat each other because He is the source of life and not the author of death. He gave fruit and vegetables for food. Probably we would be healthier physically if we did not eat meat at all. After the fall man began to kill animals for food and this was not sinful in God’s sight but most certainly it was not the best thing to do for man’s health and physical well being as medical research is showing us today. Generally speaking those who are vegetarians are healthier physically than those who eat meat.

(Genesis 2:1-3) “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating He had done” .

In Seven literal Days

No scientific data or evidence has ever refuted the concept that the days of creation were solar days. The expression, “the evening and the morning” points to 24-hour days. These words mean literal days everywhere else in the Old Testament. When God commanded Israel to rest on the Sabbath day, He based the command on the fact that He Himself had rested on the seventh day, after six days of labour. (Exodus 20:8-11) This is not the rest that follows weariness but the rest of satisfaction and completion of a job well done. Although God did not command man to keep the Sabbath at this time He taught the principle of one day of rest in seven. When He did command the keeping of the Sabbath it was for man’s benefit. The Lord Jesus Himself said this was so, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 1:27a).As far as the Bible is concerned it does not tell us the date the heavens and the earth were created, neither does it tell us the date when Man was created but we are told that in six days God created the heavens and the earth and that on the seventh day He rested.  The fact remains that when God spoke created things came into being and that within six days God had completed everything He had set out to do and saw all that He had made and it was very good indeed!

Go to Study 9