A Further Look at the Imago Dei
July 1st 2015
A further look at the imago Dei…WHAT DOES GOD SAY?
[NOTE: This post will be divided into two parts and comes with a warning that the difficult principles discussed are based in Scripture and must be prefaced by the overwhelming Truth of God’s amazing grace towards each of His children. Although deserving God’s justice, we can be the recipients of His mercy and forgiveness because of Jesus’ sacrifice in our place on the cross. Our sinless Savior took the punishment we each deserve so that we may be completely forgiven and be embraced by our heavenly Father no matter the depth of our sin. When Satan throws my sin up to me and tells me I am worthless and can never be used of the LORD, I can rest in the assurance that when God looks at me, He sees the blood of His precious Son and draws me to Himself. (2 Corinthians 5:21;Revelation 12:9-11)
As seen in Genesis 1, it is because mankind (male and female) are made in the image and likeness of our Creator God [Elohim], that each person holds a place of dignity and worth above all other creatures. The imago Dei gives men and women intrinsic value and it is God’s own image that He protects when He declares:
“Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man.” (Genesis 9:6)
God’s prescribed punishment by death for both animals and people that were found guilty of killing a person demonstrates that of all God’s magnificent creatures, only humanity bears His image.
God distinguishes between intentional and unintentional homicide, providing a safe haven for the fugitive who accidentally kills another person without malice or forethought. [See Numbers 35:6-28 for description of the ‘cities of refuge’ designated for those found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.]
“He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death. But if he did not lie in wait for him, but God let him fall into his hand, then I will appoint you a place to which he may flee. If, however, a man acts presumptuously toward his neighbor, so as to kill him craftily, you are to take him even from My altar, that he may die.” (Exodus21:12-14)
Remember, in spite of our sin, as we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work in our place on the cross, we are invited to come boldly before the throne of God. Rather than condemning us because of our sin, God sees us covered by the blood of His precious Son, Jesus, and beckons us to come to Him as His dear children.