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.'
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 ESV)
One of the most expensive pottery pieces in the world happens to be an ornamental vase that sat upon a wobbly bookcase for who knows how long. An expert who had an eye for fine art discovered this amazing work of art after the owner’s death. The Qing Dynasty vase was insured for about $1300, but its true value was revealed at an auction when it sold for $84 million! Read about the Qing Dynasty's ancient vase here or here.
When God created the universe he did so with great variety. The Genesis account starts off with God crafting the canvas of the universe and all of its heavenly bodies. He declared it was good. The focus becomes narrower as he fashions the sky with its flying creatures. Then he forms the bodies of water with water type creatures. Next came the land with plants, animals, and crawling critters. God designed it so that every place had its thing and every life form was made after its kind. God declared that his creation was of special value. As we look upon the diversity and beauty of creation we can say with the Psalmist that the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD (Psa. 33:5) and radiates the manifest beauty (Isa. 6:3) of the work of his hands.
That Chinese artist of ages past who crafted this dynasty porcelain used a composite of special clay and stone and patiently worked his craft to design the masterpiece. God, the supernatural potter (Isa. 64:8) molded a new and unique creature. Like the plants and creatures that came from the earth, Man also came out of the land. Red clay, in fact, which is what Adam's name means. However, the human becomes the pinnacle of God’s massive creation.
After the miraculous formation, God animates this exceptional vessel in a way different than he had with other living things. He breathes life into the body to join a soul that is modeled after God (Gen. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 11:7; Jas. 3:9). The human becomes immortal because he derives life from the immortal God. The soul gives him the capacity to relate with God and fellow humans in intimate ways. The Lord also endows the soul with special characteristics that are God-like, such as knowledge, wisdom, holiness, goodness, authority, power, love, humor, and language. This extraordinary vessel reflects God’s nature.
The Potter fashions a living vessel and bestows it with several attributes that resemble him in amazing ways, makes a male and female version, and then declares it to be very good. Good in that humans are the epitome of a highly valuable and perfect piece of art.
As an individual, you are invested with a far higher value than an 84 million-dollar vase. Being fashioned in God’s image stamps upon you inestimable value and sets you as the gold medal trophy of all God’s creation. Yet, there is more – you have uniqueness among the unique because there is no one exactly like you. That is how God values you, his masterpiece.
Being the Master's Piece filled with high-value wonder ought to give you pause. If you need more wow factor, take some time to do a web search on how amazing the human body is. You can start with this link, and then boggle your mind with some great facts about the brain on this YouTube presentation.
This post is an excerpt from my book, ThanksLiving: How to Gain Perspective to Enrich Your Life. This how-to devotional book is intended to help you develop a mindset of gratefulness by increasing your gratitude quotient. You can start today with these exercises:
- Make this insight your mind's focus for five minutes.
- Speak to God and give him thanks for making you special.
- With pen in hand, write in a journal how being made in God's image impacts you or makes you feel.
One last thing, take a moment and subscribe to this blog for more posts like this and to be alerted to more articles like this. Thank you!
- Dr. Don