Commentary by Walter Albritton
We have Value because God Created us for Himself
Key Verse: The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. – Genesis 2:7
Self-despising is widespread. Repeatedly I encounter persons who, despairing of life itself, complain that they are worthless, having no value to anyone. Whatever hope they once had is now gone. Their minds are numbed by an awful sense of meaninglessness.
My heart broke to hear my own father, in his declining years, ask me often, “Why did God let me live so long?” I tried to assure him that he was alive because God’s purpose for his life was not yet completed. I hope I succeeded in my efforts to encourage him to trust God to the end.
To read the Genesis accounts of creation is a great tonic for despairing souls. Here is the exciting news that the living God created human beings for a divine purpose. Human beings have value because they were created for a reason. Primarily, that reason is to have communion with God and to serve God.
This conviction about the origin of man generates hope. Faith grows in the fertile soil of such thinking. Embrace the teaching of Genesis about creation and you safeguard your mind against the invasion of hopelessness. Without hope, it is misery, not mercy that is fresh every morning. Without hope, nothing tastes good; nothing stirs our passion to make the most of each new day.
Settle for a lesser worldview and you become vulnerable to cynicism. The cynic buys the notion that man crawled out of a primordial swamp as a tiny amoeba and in time became an ape, finally evolving into a man. For the writer of Genesis, there is a nobler way to describe the beginning of man’s family tree. I prefer the Genesis explanation.
If we accept the idea that our ancestors were “swamp things,” then it becomes much more difficult to have a lofty view of the value of human life. We become vulnerable to the belief that a human being has no more lasting significance than the next stray dog we see on the side of the road. If, however, our ancestors were people who talked with God, like Abraham and Moses, then it is easier to believe that human beings were created in the image of God for a special purpose, to fulfill a plan conceived in the heart of a loving God.
offer two accounts of creation? Yes. Are these accounts conflicting? No. They
complement each other. They describe the creation story from two different
angles. What is more important is that in both accounts God is the Creator, and
the creation of man is the
Genesis begins with the striking affirmation that God exists: “In the beginning God”! Modern secularists insist that God is man’s idea. Genesis declares emphatically that man is God’s idea! Man’s significance stems from his having being made in the image of God. This makes humans uniquely different from animals even though all living things were made from “the dust of the ground.”
The primary difference is that human beings can have a dynamic relationship with God. We can hear God, speak to God, love God, thank God, have communion with God, and serve God. Especially, humans are capable of obeying God, or disobeying God. Genesis helps understand our uniqueness by underlining our power to make decisions, especially decisions that can affect the quality of our lives. Other “creatures” are not burdened by the responsibility of obeying God’s commands.
Genesis pays tribute to man’s capacity to reason by explaining that God asked man to name the animals and birds. This capacity to think can be used for good or ill. To understand that we may choose to enhance our relationship with God is an exhilarating thought! To ignore the opportunity to develop a mature relationship with God, through constant communion, is surely the most foolish use of our intelligence.
What Genesis says about human beings should inspire us beyond measure. God created us. He called us “good.” He gave us work to do. He expects us to obey Him. He desires intimacy with us. We may claim that intimacy through loving obedience. He recognized man’s loneliness, and his need for others, so He created a companion. This becomes the biblical foundation for the institution of marriage being God-given, and not an institution designed by man. In a day when the sacred nature of marriage is being undermined, it behooves us to stand firmly on the solid ground of biblical teaching. Culture changes; God’s eternal Word does not.
What a high and holy privilege is ours – to be given the gift of life as human beings! When we embrace the theology of Genesis, hopelessness cannot survive in the presence of such faith. Self-despising is overcome when we recognize our great value as human beings created by the Almighty God who desires loving communion with His children! Let us joyfully use our minds to THINK of creative ways to adore and serve the Father who made us! + + + + (Contact Walter at firstname.lastname@example.org)