Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Made in the image of God! Now that’s pretty cool. And not just to be one of His many creatures but to be his image bearers. Created to care for all that he created. Later we find out a little more on this calling.
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
The words that are translated “work” and “keep” can be more descriptively translated as “to serve” and “to keep something safe.” We aren’t just one of the creatures. We also aren’t the bad creatures. We are created as the pinnacle of His creative work. But yes… we fell. But that is not the end of the story! We all know this. But we must keep in mind that we were created for good and were redeemed for good (Eph 2:10). But, what good were we created and redeemed for? What are we supposed to do?
We find that our created purpose of serving the creation and keeping it safe was never revoked. The fall only made it harder to do. Procreation becomes life threatening and work becomes sweaty and often fruitless (Gen 3:16-19). But, redemption offers us much hope (John 15:5) when we learn to walk it out in a nurtured relationship with our creator.
We find that as soon as the fall occurred, and before the curse was pronounced, the creator offers hope of redemption.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
The woman, who first ate the fruit, is told that she will be the source of redemption. Did you hear that? She will be the source. She will bear a child that will crush the head of the enemy! That means, that as we continue our most difficult and dangerous calling, we will see redemption. Since we now read this creation story from a post-cross point of view, we can rejoice that redemption has come. But it has not come in whole, only in part. We must continue our work of caring for the creation, among other things. Let us not abandon our post. There are many ways to serve God’s creation. Let imagination and the gentle voice of the Spirit guide you as you discover His purposes.