In His Image

Okay, you all probably know this one [Genesis 1:1]:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

And you’ll probably recognize this also [Genesis 1:14-16]:

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.

To me, this says a lot of things but, in particular, it says that before God created everything, there was nothing. No Earth, no stars, and with no matter there was no up, no down, and with no reference points and nothing in whatever the “it” was before all that was created, there was no left or right either.

It could even be argued that, before God created it, there was no space.

No space, no time, no dimension, no nothing.

So here’s my problem.

If I skip forward just a few verses to Genesis 1:27, I then read,

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

So, what did God look like? Did he have two hands? Two eyes? Hair? A nose and two ears?

What for?

What did God have those things for?

There was nothing to manipulate with those two hands.

There was no light by which His eyes could have seen anything, much less there was nothing — no “thing” at all — to see.

And certainly there were no smells and no sounds. What would have made them?

Before there was form, before He created the Heavens and the Earth, God had no need of a physical nature.

So when it says that God created man in his own image, what does it mean?

Clearly, this line in the Bible cannot be taken in a literal sense. God had no “image”, no appearance, no physical manifestation. Before the beginning of the beginning, he hadn’t yet created any of that.

My first point is that, when we draw pictures of God and give Him hands and feet, a face with a nose and gently loving eyes, that’s all a fabrication of our imagination. God doesn’t look like that because God isn’t look-able. He was there before anything we know ever existed. He doesn’t have a look.

Secondly, I am forced to conclude that this part of the Bible has to be taken figuratively, not literally.

And if one part has to be taken figuratively, then why not another?

If one part of the Bible is figurative, then why not the next, and the next and the next?

To put it bluntly, then, so what good is it?

What good is the Bible if nothing can be trusted to be literally factual? What good is it if nothing it says can be trusted as the truth?

The truth.

The truth is what we’re after.

And there are truths that transcend words.

Sometimes you know them through a person’s look.

Sometimes you discover them through a person’s acts.

There is truth, and sometimes it can be expressed in words, but writing those words down is not what makes them “the truth”.

The truths I speak of are truths you know — Robert Heinlein invented the word “Grok” for this.

You “Grok” the truth.

And the Bible contains many truths.

The Bible is a guide to discovering them.

In Eastern teachings, the Buddha taught that the finger pointing at the moon was not the moon. If you concentrate on the finger, you will miss the moon.

The Bible is the pointing finger.

It’s purpose can only be fulfilled if, in reading and study, it becomes transparent, invisible, and you can then “see” what lies beyond.

When the Bible says that God created Man in His image, this ability to transcend what lies around us is what it means.

God transcends everything — every thing — and that potential is in us all.

Transcend the turmoil that surrounds you.

God gave you the ability to do that.

Let it go. Transcend your troubles.

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