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Daily Devotional | The Image of God

In 1859, Charles Darwin published his work On the Origin of Species. One of the most controversial arguments Darwin made was that all life had a common descent. He argued that every living thing, including all animals and humans, evolved from an original single-cell organism. He challenged the biblical view that human beings were unique.

Today’s reading reflects on the relationship between humans, animals, and the rest of Creation. According to Genesis 1, humans and animals have a lot in common. Both were created by God. Both are dependent upon the environment that God created for their survival (v. 24). Both have the “breath of life” in them (v. 30). Both are dependent upon the land for food (v. 30).

However, Genesis 1 also makes it clear that there is a difference between humans and animals. People are created “in the image of God” (v. 27). This truth has profound implications for the Christian faith. In Scripture, there is no room for racism or discrimination. All humans bear God’s image, including all ethnicities, young and old, rich and poor, able-bodied and handicapped.

As His image-bearers, God has called humans to steward the rest of Creation (vv. 26, 28). In these verses, humans are presented as royalty who rule over what God has made. As images of God, they should exercise their rule in the same kind of way that God does—for the good of what is in their care and in a way that is responsible to God.

Part of faithfully living out our identity as images of God means thoughtfully and attentively caring for the land and animals that God has entrusted to us and acknowledging the worth, value, and dignity of all people. The “image of God” is not something we achieve. Rather, it is an essential part of our created identity. It is part of what it means to be human.

Go Deeper

What does Genesis 1:24–2:3 teach about our identity?

Pray with Us

Lord, You care for our lives, and You teach us to take care of those around us. We thank You for giving us life to nurture. Whether it’s aging parents, children, pets, livestock, or even plants all life is a gift from You!

BY Ryan Cook

Dr. Ryan Cook has taught at Moody Bible Institute since 2012. He earned his bachelor of arts in Bible and Theology from Moody and his master of arts in Old Testament from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He has worked in Christian education and served as a pastor in Michigan for seven years. During his time as a professor at Moody, he earned his doctorate from Asbury Theological Seminary. He now lives with his wife, Ashley, and their three children in the Chicagoland area.

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