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. (ESV)
There are several nuances contained in the Scripture verses above. The first important observation is God is an “us.” God is triune, having three distinct personalities – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. “Let us make man in our image.” Another subtle implication is that God already had the plan for our redemption as He spoke these words. From the beginning, He knew that creating us, man and woman, would mean sending His son into the world as a sacrifice for our sins. Knowing this painful future, He made us anyway (read Acts 2:22-24).
Then God said, “Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness.” Here is another important observation: God made us in His image and likeness. One quality I glean from this action is that we have “choice.” God created us with the ability to choose our path, and knowing we would turn from Him did not influence his decision to make us.
The Apostle John says God is love, and the LORD has given us that ability because He created us in His image. I wrote in my journal the other day:
Keep it simple: love God, love people.
It comes from a Danny Gokey song, “Love God Love People.” We have the choice, though. We can love, or we can hate. We can choose God’s purpose for our lives to love the LORD and to love people, or we can choose to live a life that ignores all God created us to be. I often imagine a world where every person loves the way God intended. I strive to know that kind of love in my life, but I fail to love the way God does because I can’t wrap my mind around it. Knowing ahead of time that His son would suffer and die before creating me, it’s something beyond my comprehension, but it’s a love I want.