1) Gen 1:26–30: In the Ancient Near East, people believed that an image of a god carried out the deity’s will and work. Therefore, Moses’s original readers (ca. 1250 BC) would have understood that God created Adam and Eve to serve as his ambassadors, ruling with the Lord’s authority on his behalf. God expected them to fulfill his purposes through their faithful stewardship of tending and guarding the earth while extending his glorious kingdom throughout the world (Gen 2:15).[1]

a) What mandate did the Lord give to Adam and Eve?

[For a deeper treatment of these verses, go to Let Us Make Humanity (Gen 1:26); Made in the Image of God (Gen 1:12 cont.); Stewards of the Earth (Gen 1:26 cont.); Male and Female He Created Them (Gen 1:27); and The Blessing of Fruitfulness (Gen 1:28)]

b) Gen 1:31: According to the Egyptian text the Theology of Memphis, Ptah, the son of the greatest god, created all the lesser deities. The text reports:

Thus all the gods were formed and his [nine major deities were] completed. Indeed, all the divine order really came into being through what the heart thought and the tongue commanded…And so Ptah was satisfied, after he had made everything, as well as all the divine order. He had formed the gods, he had made cities…he had put the gods in their shrines.”[2]

In contrast, when God created people, the Lord pronounced that work, “the very best it could be.”

Keeping Gen 1:26 in mind, why was God as pleased about creating humans as Ptah was in making gods?

[A related post is God Evaluates His Creation (Gen 1:31)]

2) Psalm 8: David wrote this song of worship about 300 years after Moses’s era. The Olympic sprinter, Eric Liddell, said, “God made me fast, and when I run I feel his pleasure.”

How does this psalm depict the Lord’s commission of humanity? What specific activity do you engage in which brings pleasure to God?

Go to Sin in the CSER Structure

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[1] Walton, Genesis, 130.

[2] “The Theology of Memphis,” ANET, lines 57–9, 5, https://archive.org/stream/Pritchard1950ANET_20160815/Pritchard_1950_ANET#page/n29/mode/2up. An alternate translation is “and Ptah rested.”