23 June 2011

Genesis 1:26-28

"So God said,"Let us make human beings in our image and likeness. And let them rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the tame animals, over all the earth, and over all the small crawling animals on the earth."
So God created human beings in his image. In the image of God he created them. He created them male and female. God blessed them and said, "Have many children and grow in number. Fill the earth and be its master. Rule over the fish in the sea and over the birds in the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

While reading this passage a couple of things struck me which I've never noticed before.

The first is that it says God said 'in our image' not in my image. This leads to the implication that there are other Gods, something which is contradicted time and again throughout the bible. However it is supported by some of the phrasing found in the Creed said each sunday which goes something to the effect of 'God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God' although it is talking about the relationship of Jesus to God the father it too implies that there are other Gods, lesser Gods. Maybe God is the most powerful, knowing and loving, but it doesn't discount the fact that maybe there could be other Gods who support our God. I guess it leads credence to my opinion, shared by some, that following any religion and worshipping any actual God, whilst striving to do good would lead you to heaven. I had an RE teacher once who said that 'God's house has many rooms', what if each room is for followers of a different religion?

The second thing that I noticed which I hadn't before is that he created human beings in the same way that he created all the other creatures. This somewhat pacified a lot of confusion I had carried around for a very long time, because I always thought that when God created humans he created only Adam and Eve. This led to confusion because I could mever understand from this how Cain and Abel managed to get wives when they were Adam and Eve's only children. However my realisation leads to a further realisation that Adam and Eve weren't the only humans he created, but they were the special ones, his 'pet' people... for want of a better word.

One last thing is that it says he made humans the master of the earth. I'm not sure if that's good or bad, but it certainly gives huge sway to the whole eco-movement, something I was already inclined to support, because there can be good masters and bad masters. A good master would ask for only so much as his servant is able to give nothing more, because he knows that asking for more will weaken his servent and shorten the time he can serve. A bad master will demand everything he wants when he wants it and you'd better deliver or pay the price. With the earth it's a bit like that. We have recently been bad masters, stripping the earth bare of all it's resources for our own material wealth, we've pumped the sky and the water full of toxins and pollutants. We have in short been killing our planet. For many hundreds of years, thousands maybe, the way people lived was hand to mouth, they would take only so much as they needed only when they needed it. That wasn't a particularly good way either, although it protected the planet it could also lead to large-scale death as people didn't get what they needed. I'd like to think that nowadays we're somewhere in between. We try to live comfortably and securely, preventing death where possible, whilst trying to reduce and counteract the poisons we released.

I got a lot from those three short verses, way more than I expected to. I'm wondering what anyone else thinks?


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