Created to Enjoy God Forever

Man knows God in part by enjoying His presence, and this pleases God.

The biblical record of the creation of people by God is very different than what we see in other ancient Near Eastern accounts. In Genesis 1, mankind’s creation is the very crescendo of God’s creative activity, and so theologians call people the “crown of creation.” And, unlike any other element of creation, God makes humans in His own image (imago Dei). God does this because He designed men and women to be in relationship with Him. 

 

Why did God create humankind? In many of the creation accounts of the ancient Near East, humanity was created with the sole purpose of being a slave to the gods. For example, the Mesopotamian creation story Enuma Elish describes the creation of mankind by the god Marduk:

Blood I will mass and cause bones to be,
I will establish a savage, “man” shall be his name.
Verily, savage-man I will create.
He shall be charged with the service of the gods,
That they might be at ease!

The biblical record of the creation of people by God is very different than what we see in other ancient Near Eastern accounts. In Genesis 1, mankind’s creation is the very crescendo of God’s creative activity, and so theologians call people the “crown of creation.” And, unlike any other element of creation, God makes humans in His own image (imago Dei). God does this because He designed men and women to be in relationship with Him. Man knows God in part by enjoying His presence, and this pleases God. Man is not God, but he resembles God in many ways, and he is to imitate God. As God subdued and ruled over the creation through the medium of the word (Gen. 1), so is man to subdue and rule over creation by cultivating the garden (2:15) and by naming the animals (vv. 19–20). As God filled the heavens with a starry host and filled the earth with animate life, so is man to fill the earth with produce and with his own image-bearers (1:28). Man is called simply to imitate God in how he lives and acts (imitatio Dei).

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