God didn’t create anything to leave it empty.
My daughter and I went to one of those pottery painting places, feeling creative and optimistic about our Pinterest-inspired intricate design plans. We both chose to paint oversized coffee mugs, and after they had been fired in the kiln, we were pretty smitten with our creations. The first thing we did was to fill them with ice cream and enjoy what we had made! We hadn’t spent all that time carefully painting useless display mugs that would just sit empty; we were excited to enjoy what we had created.
God didn’t create anything to leave it empty. He created the heavens and the earth, and then He filled them up with plants and trees, the sun and moon and stars, fish and birds and all kinds of animals. After He had spoken all of nature into being, He looked at all of His creation and saw that it was good.
Open your Bible to continue the story of creation, and let these two questions guide you:
(I promise you’ll get to the second question today.)
What do you learn about God?
What do you learn about yourself & your relationship with God?
Genesis 1:26-28 (NIV)
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds 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.
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.”
First Question: What do you learn about God in these verses?
God is plural (vs. 26) – This one deserves a follow-up question: Why does God say, “Let us make man in our image?” It’s not a pronoun agreement error. God is referring to Himself as three persons in One, commonly known as the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit.
The Father, the Son and the Spirit were all an active part of creation:
Genesis 1:1 – “In the beginning God…” God is the Father of all creation.
Genesis 1:2 – “…and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” The Holy Spirit of God was present at the time of creation.
John 1:1-3 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.” Jesus (the Word) was also present at the time of creation. In fact, everything was created through Him.
All three worked together to “make man in our image” because they are all together One.
Don’t worry about trying to grasp the concept of the Trinity right away. Your relationship with God will grow as you spend time with Him and in His Word. He will help you understand as you continue to seek Him.
When trying to understand something unfamiliar, like the Trinity, it helps to compare it to something that you are familiar with, like water. H2O can be a liquid, a solid or a gas; water, ice and steam are all H2O but in different forms. The Trinity isn’t exactly like H2O, but the comparison may help get you started in understanding how God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit make up the Trinity. For now, you can trust that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit were all involved in creating man in their own image.
The will of the Father was fulfilled through the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Now you can ask yourself the Second Question: What do you learn about yourself and your relationship with God?
You are created by God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit (vs. 26)
You are made in God’s image (vs. 27)
You are blessed by God (vs. 28)
– You are blessed with a relationship with God – He knows you because He made you.
– You are blessed with a relationship with others – “be fruitful and multiply”
– You are blessed with adventure – “fill the earth and subdue it”
– You are blessed with authority – “rule over…every living creature”
Genesis 1:29-31 (NIV)
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 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.
God provides for your needs (vs. 29)
God sees you as very good (vs. 31)
Maybe you’ve wondered what it means to find your identity in God. Have you ever tried to search the Bible to find out what God has to say about you?
Right here, in the very beginning, He says that when He created man and woman, it wasn’t just good, it was VERY good.
You were created in His image, so when He looks at you, God sees His reflection. He looks at you and sees that you are very good. Maybe it’s a little bit like the way new parents look at their baby and see a pure and perfect reflection of themselves. They see all the potential in their baby and dream about what she will become. Finding your identity in God means knowing that He created you in His image, and He sees you as very good.
Let your Creator tell you who you are and all you were made to become.
Genesis 2:1-3 (NIV)
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 that He had done.
God finished the work
God rested – not because He was tired, but because He was finished with the work of creating. He wanted to set an example for you to take time to rest and remember and reflect.
God declared a day holy – Only God can do that!
Have you noticed the surplus of “National Day of Something” popping up on your social media feed? Some of them make sense, like on St. Patrick’s Day you can also celebrate National Corned Beef and Cabbage Day. Some of them, like International Women’s Day, raise awareness for a cause like parity for women worldwide. And others seem to have been made up just for the sake of celebrating something, like National Lumpy Rug Day on May 3.
You can find even more unusual days to celebrate at http://www.nationaldaycalendar.com where their hashtag is #CelebrateEveryDay! I love the idea of choosing to find the joy in every day of the year, but who declares these days as national days of celebration? Is it the same person who bestows the honor of a Key to the City to esteemed residents and visitors? When I researched the founders of the more unusual unofficial national holidays, it turns out the founders are typically “unknown.”
But when you start at the beginning of the Bible, you see the Creator speak all of nature into existence with His words and then form humanity with His own hands, and then He declares the seventh day of the week as holy. God chose to rest and remember His display of creative power by setting aside the seventh day of the creation week as a holy day. The Founder of the Sabbath Day makes Himself known from the beginning.
Check out how He reminded His people to always keep this day holy when He gave Moses the 10 Commandments:
Exodus 20:8-11 (NIV)
Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath Day and made it holy.
By His authority, God made and gave names to all of creation, but it was the affection of God that made all His children. You were formed by Love to be filled up with love so that you can love others. God didn’t create you to leave you empty.
Only your Creator can tell you who you are.
Next time we will study Genesis chapter 2 which gives much more detail on how God got personal when He formed His prized creation with His own hands.