Image of God: 3 Commands

In our first article of this series, we discussed what it meant to be made in the image of God. This time, we are going to discuss three commands that God gave all humans. These commands are meant to help us fulfill the role and identity of being made in His image. They are to help us be the best representatives of Him that we could be. Let’s look at these three commands. 

The first two commands come in Genesis 1. After the humans are created, God gives them two commands or responsibilities for representing God. The first comes in Genesis 1:26 which says, “They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” The humans were given a royal role on earth as rulers over the animals. It is interesting to notice that the animals were created before the humans on day 6, but god elevates the humans to this position of authority. What we see here is God handing over some of his power to rule to the humans he has just created. They were to be the earth rulers, just as the lights in the sky were meant to “rule”. Being part of God’s representatives is ruling with divine authority here on earth. 

The other command we see in this chapter in verse 28. “Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”” The second command is to procreate and reproduce ourselves so that all humans can reign and rule the earth together. This creates a beautiful royal picture of humans sharing the divine royalty that God established to the first humans. Everyone shares in helping keep order on the earth. The problem of course comes with the fall in the garden. However, these are the first two commands humans are given to represent God. Rule the earth on God’s behalf and reproduce. 

The third command comes later in the biblical story. Since being made in God’s image means that we resemble God and we are an image of God Himself, it makes sense that a command is given that humans should not make an image or an idol of Yahweh or any other God because we ourselves are his image. In Exodus 20:4 God says, “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.” Although humans eventually fail at this command as well, the concept behind the idea is impeccable. God did not want his image bearers to make an image of Him because they were to be His image. If humans were to create another image, they would be rejecting their own role as bearing His image, and that is exactly what we did. 

We were meant to be his perfect image bearing people, but we ultimately failed. With each new human failing to be God’s image there had to be one human to fix that problem and restore humanity to its Creator. Eventually there was a human that was the perfect image of God, that we could never be. His name is Jesus. 

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