What does it mean to be human?
We’ve considered something of how and why we are made. Humanity was created to reflect God, in likeness and in purpose.
Where do we go from here? How can we live out our God-given purpose in His world?
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’
29 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. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground – everything that has the breath of life in it – I give every green plant for food.’ And it was so.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning – the sixth day.Genesis 1
Be fruitful and increase in number.
God’s first instruction to humanity involves sex! From Chapter 1 of the Bible, humanity is given creative power. We are made to be co-creators with God and one of the ways we do this is to multiply.
Fill the Earth and subdue it.
It sounds suspiciously like empire-building – spreading and dominating the world. Some people have used this as justification for consuming the Earth’s resources and some even quote this God-given purpose as an excuse for not acting against climate change.
But we’re given lots of pointers about how we should exercise our authority.
We are made in the image of God and given delegated authority to rule. Our rule of the world is to be like God’s rule of us. We reveal God to the rest of the created order.
God makes us, gives us purpose and then provides for us. He does not give us the world and say ‘go, make the best of it’. He actively gives the first humans all the food they need and does the same for the animals too.
Our ruler exercises His rule in loving care. He ensures that we have all that we need. He gives us more than enough. In this wonderful created world, we are well provided for.
Putting into Practice
- Consider God’s provision for you. Do you acknowledge Him as the source of all things, or do you give yourself the credit for your own hard work? Is your thankfulness more than just saying ‘grace’ before a meal?
- What happens when it seems like you don’t have enough? Do you immediately turn to pray? Or are you more of an activist and get on to solve the problem yourself? Do you doubt that God will be faithful to provide?