The image of God is one of the first human identities the Bible gives us. The concept of being made in his image and what that looks like starts in Genesis and continues today. In this series, we are going to look at what is the image of God, what it means, and what it looks like to live as the image of God.
We first find this phrase “image of God” in Genesis 1. Genesis 1:26-27 says, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.” First we must notice that the pronoun “us” is used here. This most likely refers to the triune identity of God. This can be a conversation for a later time. We also notice that God is creating human beings, he is creating us. But there is a model after which we are made. Genesis says we are made in God’s image, to be like Him or in His likeness. This word “image” means like an image in a picture or a resemblance of something. It is used to represent something else, so that when someone looks upon the image, they think of what that image is representing. This is what the image of God means: to represent God here on earth and to be like Him. We are to be the resemblance and likeness of God. Not that we are God, but that we are to be his representatives on this earth, all humans male and female (Gen 1:27).
The writer of Psalm 8 was really trying to meditate on what it meant to be made in God’s image. The writer looked at the night sky and all of its splendor and thought, “what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority” (Psalm 8:4-6). Compared to the universe and all of God’s creation, we humans seem finite and useless.Yet the writer says that we were made lower than God himself but we were given glory and honor because He made us in his image. He gave us responsibility and the will to rule which we will discuss next week. We humans, though small compared to the rest of the universe, were given something special, our identity in God.
So in conclusion, to be made in the image means that we have been created as a representation of Yahweh himself. We have been created just as he wanted us so that we should reflect His character and being. This is a great honor as the Psalmist concluded and the greatest in the universe.