Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness,
so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky,
over the livestock and all the wild animals,
and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
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.”
CREATED AND BLESSED BY GOD
God’s blessings abound—in creation, people, and the Bible. However, we don’t often notice how He’s blessing us, and when we do, we can miss out on fostering a thankful heart. We might get mired down in the daily challenges we face (such as physical trials), the betrayals we suffer, the disappointments we endure. One way to cultivate gratitude is to explore the story of God’s blessings which starts right in the very beginning when He created the world with its creatures and the people He made in his image.
The first instance of God’s blessings in the Hebrew Scriptures comes in Genesis 1:22 when He blessed the living things. He then extended His blessings to men and women, those formed in his image. These words of His favor continue throughout the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible).
In Genesis 1:28, we find what appears to be a command to fill the earth and rule over the creatures. This command forms part of God’s blessing as well – not only for Adam and Eve but also for their descendants. Note the implication that the Lord wants a relationship with His people, for He speaks to them when blessing them.
FOCUS ON GOD’S BLESSINGS
Since we live after the fall of humanity (witnessing and experiencing the things that go wrong in the world, in our hearts, and in our bodies), we may be tempted to discount the story of creation and the love that underpins it. After all, we see and experience pain, destruction, and injustice – but when we consider the story from the point of view of God’s original intentions, we can remember not only His goodness but also how He entrusts us (those made in His image) to create and to order our lives.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
- How does focusing on God’s blessings reorient your view of the hard things you might be experiencing just now?
- What does “made in God’s image” mean to you?
- How does it make you feel that one of the first things God does after creating people is to bless them?
Amy Boucher Pye
Amy is a writer, speaker, and spiritual director. She’s the author of several books, including 7 Ways to Pray: Time-Tested Practices for Encountering God. She loves writing devotional thoughts, including for the world-renowned Our Daily Bread. She lives with her family in North London. Find her at amyboucherpye.com or on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.