Read Genesis 2:4-7 (ESV)
These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens. When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up–for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground–then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
When you read the word “formed” what do you picture?
Have you ever received a handmade gift? We can buy perfectly fine presents from stores and it’s nice to receive a store-bought gift. But there is just something about receiving a handmade item that feels more special. Whenever I receive a handmade gift, I understand the value of that gift in a very different way. I appreciate the time put in and the thoughtfulness of the giver. I admire the skill and talent that it took to fashion and craft the item. Handmade items are usually unique. Possibly one of a kind. Maybe even made just for me. It’s personal.
The creation account in Genesis 1 discusses how God spoke creation into being. But when the narrative gets to humans, we receive details different from the rest of creation. In Genesis 1:26-27, 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, 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.”
First, notice that God didn’t just say, “Let there be humans.” Instead, He said “Let us make mankind in our image.” In using the pronoun “us” He referenced the Trinity. We are made in the image of the God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God also stated a purpose which sets mankind apart—to rule the rest of His creation.
In Genesis 2, we find out more details about how God created us in His image. He took dirt from the ground and formed a man. The picture here is of an artist or a craftsman creating a beautiful work out art out of ordinary organic material. God was hands-on in making humans.
And women? Genesis 2:21-23 describes how God fashioned a woman from a rib that He had taken out of man. Again, the imagery is of God forming a woman out of a rib with His hands like a potter with clay.
God was thoughtful, purposeful, and skillful in His creative work in us. God could have created us from far away. With just a word from God in heaven, we could have suddenly existed down here on earth. And yet, God was near when He made us. He was close enough to form and fashion us. Close enough to breathe His life into our lungs. Friends, God was not a hands-off Creator. We are intimately and personally created by God.