Devotional & Reflection

Week 1, Oct 2001

Genesis 1:26-27 - In His Image / Relationship
By Pang Hee Hung, Director & Trainer, Ezra Resources

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."

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

We look at man and wonder what have become of man. We covet, lust, back-stab, bad-mouth, hurt, abuse, manipulate, exaggerate, control, quarrel, fight, lie, cheat and the list of transgressions goes on and on.

Genesis takes us back to the creation story. Mankind was made in the image of God. Although we are not photocopies of God, we are a reflection of God originally - mirroring God. We are to reflect God's "Relationship", "Righteousness" and "Rulership". (The latter 2 R's will be discussed in the following weeks).

When God said, "Let us make man in our image" (1:26), the plural "us" suggests that God is more than one person i.e. God is a plurality - even though the proper noun is singular in tense (Deut 6:4). The Spirit of God was existent at creation (1:2) and is now present with us and so is Jesus (Rom 8:9-10; John 10:30; Mat 28:19 and 2 Cor 13:14). The three persons in one God is termed "Trinity" although this word is not found in the Bible. Thus in God Himself, we find relationship. In fact, they are a community - three being the minimum number for a community. Two persons merely form a partnership.

The triune God models for us what a truly loving community is like. The love they have for each other (and for men) means that there is unity in their purposes and there is peace. It is not like the pagan gods of ancient mythology who fight each other to be the supreme god. In the New Testament, we find that Jesus who is God, humbled Himself to become man to save mankind (Mark 10:45). For the church to be a community imaging God, we need this humble kind of love that dies to self. Only then can we seek to accomplish the purposes of God in unity. If not we end up like James and John who want to sit on the right and left of Jesus in His glory (Mk 10:37).

A break in relationships can have serious effects on people. It can be family, spousal, boyfriend-girlfriend or even working relationships. Take this case of a true story related to me. A manager had his portfolio withdrawn from him because of a break in his relationship with his boss. He got more and more depressed. He was given medical leave for months and took medication. He tried to commit suicide in his office once and was saved in a nick of time. Unfortunately, he died on the second suicide attempt. As Christians, we need to ask God for wisdom (James 1:5) as to how to spot and help people suffering from breaks in relationships. And if we are the ones suffering from broken relationships, we can seek direction and support from God and fellow Christians or leaders.

Reflect: How are our relationships with people? Do we relate with people only functionally when they are of use to us (utilitarian)? Or do we sincerely care about them? How are our relational and people skills?