Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’”
There is no mention of man in the Bible until the sixth day of creation and then God said: “Let us make man in our image.” There is also no doubt that man is different from all of the other creatures that God had made previously.
One might ask the question if there is any difference between image and likeness. Some Bible students say that ‘image’ refers to constitution which includes the gift of personality, mental and moral capacity, and free will. Whereas, ‘likeness’ refers to the moral and spiritual resemblance to God.
Man has faculties that no other creature has that God made. Man was and is able to see God in His work. Romans 1:19-20 “Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
Man is able to see the wisdom of God. We read in Psalm 104:24 “How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” Man can also marvel at His power. Psalms 150:2 “Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.”
Man, above all of the other creatures that God created, can appreciate the goodness of God. Psalms 33:8 “Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him.”
Man’s ability to think, acquire knowledge, making deductions from knowledge gained that lead to practical results all shows how man is different.
Probably one of the greatest things that the Lord has given man is the ability to speak, or the gift of speech in which to express his thoughts. Like someone said: “Animals may have instinct, but man has intellect to guide him in important decisions.”
In considering man we need to see and understand that he was fashioned by God with deliberation and bore the stamp of the divine and made partaker of many divine qualities. There is no doubt that man is the crowning work of God’s creation.
That drunken man lying in the street gutter still has the image of God on him, even though the man is not living it out. It is important for us to see this truth about man; that although every human being is made in the image of God, we each must come to acknowledge it, appreciate it, and live it out – unto the glory of our Creator Father.