1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, "Let there be light "; and there was light. (Genesis 1:1-3 NASB)
26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness ; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
[7 Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life ; and man became a living being. 8 The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden ; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. ](Genesis 2:7-8 NASB)
27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth." (Genesis 1:26-28)
The Bible tells us that when God first created the world it was formless and void, or useless and chaotic. But then God spoke. "Let there be light." And there was. There was light in darkness.
And then God spoke again and brought order to the chaos, and all living things in to being, and finally, put his own image onto the earth to rule over it.
Who do you think that was?
That's right, it was us. He gave us the job of taking care of the earth he made, and he gave us the job of finishing the work he started. That's right. Creation wasn't complete when God rested. That's why He made us. He gave us the important job of completing His work on the earth. Outside of the garden there was still work to be done. [The language in Hebrew makes this more clear, but the word subdue, is a clue. Subdue means to conquer, to bring under control or rule.] We were supposed to continue to bring order to the chaos that remained. We were supposed to continue to bring life and beauty to the earth.
How could we do this?
You see, God made us specially. He did something different with people. He formed man out of the dust of the earth, but then he breathed his own breath into us. The breath of life. We had God's own breath in us. God's spirit and power to actually be His image, came with that breath.
Think about the word image for a minute. Do you know what it means?
An image is something that looks like something else, or represents something else. When the Bible says God made us in his image, it means He made us to represent him, to be His presence here, on this planet.
It was a big job. But we had everything we needed to do it. We had God with us, close by, and we had His breath of life in us.