Reading the opening chapters of Genesis with a 21st-century worldview can make us miss the main point of the opening movement of the bible’s grand narrative and overlook important clues about why the Gospel is such Good News.
The most important thing we learn from Genesis 1 and 2 about humans is they were given a central and crucial role to play in God’s amazing creation.
Here are the main things to see in this second movement of the story:
Absolute Sovereign – The Creator is the Absolute Sovereign over everything created. He is not one power among many – He stands over all that exists and has absolute authority over everything, with no rivals and no competitors.
Kingdom Structure – In setting up humans as His image-bearers, the Creator organized a Kingdom structure within the sacred space of the cosmos on earth.
Humans as Vice-Regents – Simply said, humans were set up to function as vice-regents on earth, and throughout the cosmos, under God’s authority and power. Their role and responsibility were to share in the work of ruling and managing the created world.
Thus, humans carried the Responsibility, Authority and Capacity to subdue the earth and to reign over everything in it, as God’s human representatives.
Relationship of Love and Trust – The royal authority and work of the human image-bearers flowed out of a relationship of love and trust with the sovereign creator.
Manage and Manifest God’s Will – Their mission was to translate the Sovereign Creator’s will into action and results. As image-bearers, humans were to manage and manifest the good will and purposes of the Sovereign Creator, on earth as in heaven.
What God Had In Mind – The ultimate goal of the Creator’s plan was to fill the earth with humans bearing his image, the creation ordered and blessed by their leadership and their work, and the peace and wonder of God’s loving presence filling everything as he lived among them in the fullness of joy and love.