So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.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.”
Genesis 1:27-28 NLT
I wonder if you realize how important you are to God? Paganism, based on observation of the world, says that we really are quite unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Stand outside on a clear night and look up and tell yourself that you really matter in the face of all that. A recent TV program spoke of “non-human animals.” Do you see what is being very intentionally implied? We are just another kind of animal, not essentially different from all the rest.
But to all this, the Bible speaks a resounding “NO.” It is there in the very first chapter. God is not in our image, we are in his. What does that mean? It means that unlike everything else in the universe, we alone are self-conscious persons, as he is. And God made this world for us to inhabit. Can you believe it? But that is what the Book tells us. God did not make a chaos, rather he constructed an orderly universe for us, being like him, to inhabit! (Isaiah 45:18) Hugh Ross, an astronomer and cosmologist, has shown that if just one of 40 different variables had not occurred in the first instant after the Big Bang, life would not be possible. Just one! You and I are that important to our Father.
But beyond that, he made his world so that it could not reach its full potential without you and me. That is what that sometimes-maligned statement in Genesis 1:28 means. We are given “dominion” over the earth. What does that mean in a Biblical context? Does it mean we have a right, as it were, to carve our initials in the furniture of the world, to stomp it down? It does not. Biblically speaking, to have dominion over something is to care for it, to cultivate it, to bring it to its full potential.
So, rather than our being simply chips floating aimlessly here and there on a cosmic sea, we are the lords and ladies before whom the universe comes bowing, looking to us to achieve all the glorious possibilities the Creator has crammed into it. (A trumpet flourish, please!)