Thursday, March 14, 2024

In God's Image


Time for another excursion into the obscure. I've touched on this subject before. If there is any confusion about what it means to be made in God's image, let's take a look at what it really means. The phrase in Hebrew (as close to the original Aramaic as we are likely to get) is tzelem elohim. Elohim, like many words in Hebrew is a place-holder for the name of God since it is forbidden (and actually impossible) to say the name of God out loud. But the key word here is tzelem.

Tzelem is taken from the root word in Hebrew which means shadow. So the correct interpretation is 'Made in the SHADOW of God.' What characteristics does a shadow have or not have? It has no clear features, it's a shape that is created by something coming between where it is being cast and light. In this case, the something that came between the light which is God and the Earth, where man was made, is the thought of man that God had.

We are not physically similar to God. We aren't even pale reflections of God. We are shadows of the thoughts of God. He created man and gave him the one thing that differentiates humans from all other species. This can be found in Genesis 2: 7-9 “The LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature” Every other living thing was simply created. Man has God's breath of life in him. That is what we call the soul.

All creatures alive and that have ever lived have a spirit. Man has both a spirit and a soul. We know this because throughout the Bible there are references to the spirit of animals and other, more inimical spirits. If there is any doubt that animals have a spirit, here is one example from the Bible that specifically states it, Ecclesiastes 3:21 – “Who knows the spirit of man that goes upward, and the spirit of the beast that goes downward to the earth?”

This makes it sound like there are no animals in heaven, but that isn't really possible. God is going to make the lion lie down with the lamb and that can only happen after everything we know has changed. Animals cannot make the choice of salvation as humans can. So, being innocents, why wouldn't their spirits be in heaven (honestly, to some that's blasphemy, logic often is)? Also, if you've read Revelation, you know that there are definitely horses in heaven (Jesus is riding on one.)

We are a special creation. Formed from dust, given life through the very breath of God, and given the ability to choose our paths.

What choice will you make?


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