Sermon: It Was Very Good (Genesis 1:24–2:3)

by Oct 2, 2016Sermons0 comments

How do you know who you are if you don’t know where you come from? In this passage, God finishes his work with the climax of his creation: humans. After establishing a perfect world, in which everything was bountiful and functioned in harmony, he created humans to rule over his creation and treat it the way he would treat it.

Genesis 1 & 2 tell us so much about how things are supposed to operate, because they show us life before we rebelled against God. So when we find that both men & women are made in God’s image, it informs how we treat members of the opposite sex today. When we read that we are given a charge and a commission by God to “be fruitful and multiply,” to “fill the earth” and rule all of creation as servants and benevolent fathers and mothers, the way you treat us, it affects the way we think of the individual calls on our individual lives, today. When we read that God called his creation good, we are challenged to do the same.

This is our second week in Genesis. We just started a new series Genesis. These first 11 chapters of Genesis are going through tell us so much about who we are, what it means to be a human being, where we come from, and where we’re going. We saw this last week and we’re going to see this again this week as well.

What we saw last week was that God created, by himself with nobody else acting, out of chaos, he created light on the first day and day and night. On the second day he separated the waters from chaos and created heaven. On day three he created land and vegetation and then he starts feeling his creation. On day four, the sun, the moon, and the stars that inhabit his creation from day one, a day and night.

On day five he creates the air creatures and the sea creatures, that’s vague enough to cover I think everything that has been in the air and everything that has been in the sea. They inhabit what he created on day two, separating in the waters of chaos, creating the air and separating that from the chaotic waters.

On day three he created land and vegetation. We have not yet seen anything that corresponds to that; who lives on the earth. We’re going to read this in just a moment here Genesis 1:24-2:3.

Before we do, a word of warning. This is such a familiar text and these patches that we are going through these next few weeks, these are such familiar texts. It’s so easy since, this is on page one in your Bible, a lot of people have gotten there, people who have haven’t followed through in the Bible, they read page one and a little bit beyond that. So almost every everybody in this room, I would think, would have been exposed to these words at some point in their life. So, it’s easy for us to read over them quickly, thinking we know what it means already, and miss some critical elements.

To set this up in contrast, imagine if you’d be hearing these words instead, these are not the words of God I’m about to read right now this is not God’s word, but imagine if it read like this.

And I said let my heart recognize that God and I are the same, that distinctions are in illusion, that I come from nowhere, that I do not exist as a separate entity from God and that I’m going nowhere, it’s all a drop in the bucket.

Or imagine if this said like some of the other cultures in the ancient near East would say, and the gods said let us make slaves in order that they may do our labor for us, entertain us, and give us leisure. That is not what God’s word says but imagine if it did.

Or something more appropriate maybe for our culture today imagine if we’re about to read God’s word and said this, in a cold and impersonal universe an accident happen. Nothing more. What would you extrapolate from that for your meaning in life?

So here we have God’s creation that we’ve been talking about last week, but his land not yet filled with creatures. Let’s read what God’s word actually does say here and be listening for some clues. Remember this is before the fall, some slues as to what the way humanity in our world are supposed to work.

24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
26 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.”
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
2 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on its God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.Genesis 1:24-2:3, ESV

This is God’s word. Will you pray with me? Gracious Father, we thank you and praise you for your word. Your word which changes us, your word which reminds us of the truth, your word which brings new insights, your word which guides our hearts toward you the true source of our joy. We pray Father that you would bring our hearts and our minds in line with yours this morning, through your word. We pray this through the power and in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Well, the most famous religious figure in ancient Greece was the Oracle at Delphi. Some of us may even remember and know what it said in the entrance to the Oracle at Delphi one point; it said, “know thyself”. Socrates even went there looking for wisdom.

Oracle Delphi was rumored to she didn’t, or the temple cult there, didn’t actually create that phrase “know thyself.” It actually came from a temple in Luxor, Egypt it’s even older than that pagan culture, which says, “know who you are, and you will know the gods.”

This idea of knowing who we are, that’s very popular today. We’re kind of obsessed today with this idea of authenticity. It’s something that we really used to talk about in previous generations. We’re talking a lot about authenticity and being real. I think that’s an indication of the fact that we have an authenticity deficit. If we don’t know who we are, it means we have a meaning deficit.

So, that meaning deficit means that we are constantly trying to fill this with other things. We’re constantly trying to construct meaning for ourselves today. We might say my cause, my political cause, or the thing that I’m fighting for gives me meaning to my life. Ultimately every issue seems absolutely critical and we can sacrifice relationships as a result.

Maybe you think that your things that you surround yourself with, the latest gadget, Etc., will maybe make me feel young or at least make me put off having to make hard decisions about my life or figure out how to really fill my holes.

It’s even been set it a conference that I went to a couple weekends ago, that Facebook itself for a lot of people is just basically in existence acknowledgement machine. Someone writes acknowledge my existence and someone else writes back your existence is acknowledged and validated, and we go back and forth doing that.

On what basis on what basis do we find our meeting today? Francis Schaeffer as many of you have heard me say again and again said that, “without knowing our security in God, we are looking to fill all the time our need for short-term comfort and long-term security.” That explains some of the seemingly rational aspects of some of our sin at which its root is ultimately absurd.

If we don’t know where we come from, then we don’t know where we’re going, and we don’t know who we are today. So, we don’t know how to build meaning for ourselves. Knowing where you come from tells you who you are, tells you what to do with your life. What we read here in these this end of the first chapter to the beginning of second chapter of Genesis, as human beings are created, we read that God creates good things.

1. What God has made is good and we are included in that.
2. God commissions us, especially human beings, for good service in his kingdom.
3. God provides the means for doing this himself, for doing good works

So, what else can we do as a result for our Benevolent God who gives us all these things, everything that we need. He gives us a meaning and provides the ability to do it at all through his own power. What else can we do but follow him and trust him? As we unpack these three things together, be looking for one thing I think there can be a helpful clue here to show us what to look for; that is what who is the original audience for Genesis?

The first people who have read the words of Genesis would have been the ancient Israelites who were just taken out of Egypt when Moses received the law, brings it down. So, there’s a relational aspect to this as well. This tells us a few things.

One, remembering the original audience and two remembering the things that they’re hearing, which we’re hearing also from this passage, are things that existed before humanity ever fell against God. So, this gives us some clues into what it means to be a human, the way it’s supposed to be.

So, we see in verses 24 through 25 that God first creates land animals. He had created air creatures and sea creatures before. When he created vegetation on the land before he says, “Let the land bring forth vegetation,” back in verse 22 we talked about last week. Then it says, “the land gave forth vegetation.” So, God commands the land to give forth vegetation and the land gives forth vegetation.

He said something really similar here, “Let the land produce living creatures”, and you expected them to say and so the land produced living creatures, but it’s different here. Whenever there’s a difference here, that’s a clue that there may be something that the author is trying to tell us. It says instead of the land produced wild creatures; it says instead “God created wild animals.” At the very least this tells us that God has personally connected to this creation of animals, ourselves included. So, animals, God’s creatures, are important to God in the unique way.

He gives categories of animals. This again, as Jacob mentioned last week, is not meant to read like a science textbook. The genre that is being used here is something that can help us if we recognize and cooperate with the author and what the author is telling us.

We get three categories of these land animal in verse 24; livestock basically animals that can be domesticated, we get small critters secondly, they are small creeping things, and then we have wild animals which would be like larger game that could be killed but also predators out there.

Keep in mind who the original audience is, again these are the shepherds and nomads and people who had been taken out of Egypt and are wandering in the desert. They’re given this idea that God has created all the living things exist on this Earth. So, it’s not meant to be a complete list, it’s meant to be a representative list.

Adding to the sea creatures and the birds that he’s already created; he now fills out this land that he created on day three. Then what did he say about it? As he said about the rest of his creation, he says it’s good.

Good means able to please God. Good means exercising God’s desires, doing his will. If you consider the diversity of God’s creation, of all the things that he has made, you think of just even going back to vegetation, my mom who is a gardener cannot believe the extravagance involved with flowers growing. They’re not quite necessary that they be that beautiful. Think of the incredible diversity among our animal life in this world, just going to the zoo, we should just a little taste of it. God is diverse in his creation and it should please us as well, the creation of he’s given us.

So, we have these precious creatures that he’s created and what does he do with them? He creates a very special class of them to take care of them. He creates man in verses 26 and 27. We are created, we see that, along with the rest of the of the creatures that are created. So, we are not God. We hear from that we are not God; we are separate and different from God. Yet there is a uniqueness about our creation, there’s something quite different about the way that we were made compared with the animals.

This is the largest section that’s connected with just one single day. So, there is a zooming in and a slowing down that’s happening here. It’s the last act of creation, so it’s the climax of what God has been working toward and what God has been doing. Then in verse 27, in case we miss it, it gets really redundant and really obvious for us to be able to see.

It would have been just fine to just say God created man in his own image, but it says it goes on and to say, “in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them”. Then it repeats the rhythm, repeats the theme. Emphasizing for us the importance of this culmination of creation and the special status it gives human beings. There’s something unique, there’s something about the kind of cacophony of the amazing works of God’s creation that finds its culmination in the human being, which God calls at the end of all this, “very good”. We will return to that in a moment. When he makes human beings

Also, he doesn’t just say that he’s created us according to their kind, the way he does others. He says, “let us let us make them,” us, using kind of the regal terminology of the king. Us possibly even referencing the Trinity without trying to communicate the specific aspects of the Trinity to the ancient near East culture but leaving room for it.

Noticed that also, in using the term us in our image, that God is speaking as a someone who’s in a relationship. Creating human beings as male and female, he created them for relationship as well. So, there’s an aspect of who he is that we take with us as His image bearers that has to do with relationship as well.

This is not just different from the way that he’s created other animals, other living things, and other features of creation, it’s also quite different from other ancient near East cultures. Other cultures around Israel, other cultures that were in Canaan land where they’re going to end up taking later, it would be just the king who bears God’s image. They thought the king is put there, the one who’s in charge, to bear God’s image and do God’s will for everybody else.

In this creation story, every human being is made in God’s image, not just the one representative. In the other ancient near East cultures, human beings were created in order to you labor for the gods so that they could rest, so they didn’t have to do any work. In this version, we see a perfect habitat created for man and work is given to man is a gift. There will be more on that next week as well.

What we have here according to Jack Collins, one of my seminary professors, is what he recalls a rejection of pagan mythology, of pagan tendencies. God alone again does these wonders. We read in Psalm 146:4 explicitly, we read of the God who alone does great wonders, meaning nobody else does this. There’s nobody else on the scene that does what God does in Genesis 1. So, he rules everything that he’s created.

What Dr. Collins says is that this leaves “other gods” with nothing to do. I put “other gods” in quotes. The “gods” of the other cultures nearby have nothing to do, it demythologizes is the sun, the moon, the forces of nature. All these things that we may want to attribute to, that these cultures would have wanted to attribute to deity in paganism, God actually made them. This says there’s no reason to give divine personalities to these things. We know where they fit in creation.

Dr. Collins says, “this text has its main interest in telling us that God made the material world as a place for mankind to live, to love, to work, to enjoy, and to worship God. The exalted tone of the passage allows the reader to ponder this with a sense of awe, adoring the goodness, power, and creativity of the one who did all this. It also shows the human reader why his embodied existence is good in itself and is meant to be received as a gift and a blessing. There is something good in the fact that we were created by a good God for his purposes, with a body not just as spirits.”

So, we are a created thing, but we’re also different. The most significant way in which were different is somewhat thing I haven’t mentioned except for in passing up to this point. That’s that God created us in his image. He says, “let us create them in our image.” Again, not according to their kind, but in our image, that personal connection. That implies for us that our meaning, human beings meaning, cannot be found in what Descartes said, “I think therefore I am”. Or what we’ll see a lot of slogans, like at Bath & Body Works had a slogan on one of those shampoos they had, about how we can find meaning within ourselves that were born with and where are the ultimate arbiters of what meaning is.

No, the only way in which we can really have meaning in our lives is in reference to something else, outside of us, that created us. This is extremely relevant for us today in an age in which some of the celebrities that our society admires are constantly reinventing themselves and telling us that we can reinvent ourselves.

What else though do we see in the creation of mankind in our image? We also see that is both man and woman created in God’s image. Both bear God’s image together. So, man alone does not bear God’s image properly alone only, and woman alone does not properly bear God’s image. Men and women, as a collective humanity, altogether bear God’s image together.

Gender had not been an important thing to stress among all the different animals that God had created. But there is something important about male and female existence for humans. They’re not interchangeable though. If you had two men up there, or you had male and male he created them, that wouldn’t cover the image of God completely. If you had two women that he had involved in that moment, that wouldn’t have evoked the image of God in the same way.

Humanity bears God’s image in both men and women together, and so men and women are not interchangeable with another, but they are absolutely positively equal. Not just men and women also, every human being. This doesn’t say a strong human here display some of God’s characteristics are made in God’s image, but that every single human. Whether they have a disability, whether they’re unborn, whether they’re older and there’s nobody taking care of them, there is no hierarchy of value for human beings here.

Human beings are meant to, we see with a man and the woman, meant to bear God’s image well in well-functioning community. When a community of human beings, men and women together, are functioning properly that bears God’s image in a way that calls people back to the original image bearing the way that it was supposed to be.

So, you may be starting to even hear hints that there’s something coming to this perfect creation. We will get to it in Genesis 3. Yet this perfect creation doesn’t stay that way. Yet we bear God’s image still even after we have fallen, even though our ability to exercise his will suffers within us, we still bear his image.

Note also this is not specifically a comment on Creation or Evolution. While it is pro-Creation, but this doesn’t deal with Evolution in this passage precisely. It will the next week. In this passage we’re talking about man and woman generally as created by God, not Adam and Eve necessarily. We’re just talking about man as being created. So, we zoom in even more next week when we meet again in chapter 2.

So, a human being that is not an accident, but in bearing God’s image that human being brings before the world as a representative of God, is a vice regent, as one who’s meant to show who the leader is, to accomplish deities’ purpose to bear God’s image. There’s an implication here as well to rule over these groups of creation, these animals that we’ve been given.

Do you realize how precious you are to God only because of the fact that he made you, not because of anything that you have done, not because of anything that you have earned on your own, but just simply because the fact that he created you? Every single person is. So, God made us in his image and gave us a nobility, a value, a dignity to all human beings as a result.

Then we see secondly, in addition to the fact that he has created everything that we need, that he commissions us for service. He commissioned them in the second half of verse 28, he says, “be fruitful, multiply.” That means flourish, bear good fruit, have relationship. Romantic love is a positive thing in the gospel, properly found in its right place. Physical love is blessed even.

Subdue it, that word means to rule it in the way that God would rule his creation.
It implies leadership and again this idea that we are vice-regent or governors. We’re not the ultimate authority but we are there to rule on behalf of an ambassador of the one who rules us. We’ll see this expanded upon in chapter 2 next week. Adam tends the garden, names the animals, there are things to be done in this leadership role.

It applies for us as well that the use of science and technology is a good thing and not something, we should be afraid of. We can use those tools and techniques to live out our purposes as God’s vice regents.

What it does not imply is exploitation of our environment. There are implications for us today for environmentalism. There different forms of environmentalism, some of which make environmental itself an idol. We’re not talking about blind worship of nature, but a deep sense of respect for and stewardship of what we’ve been given charge of. Our charge has not changed, we still have that same call from God, but our ability has. Here is where we have failed God, in exercising the charge that is part of in us.

In addition to commissioning them, he blessed them as part of the commission and provided food for them in verses 28 through 30. He gives them seeds that will forever, and still are producing crops for us, that are regenerative.

Provision, abundance, security, this is important theme through Genesis connected to childbirth and the growth of the family. The idea that raising faithful children is part, for the people who are called have children, is part of God’s plan of the expansion of his rule in this this Earth. His plan was that God’s people would fill the Earth and that as humanity grows the world to be governed by those who obey God and know him. There would be more and more people who are God’s vice regents. You can see the key of relationship there is well.

Then after doing so, after creating humans and the last of the animals, after giving us a commission, after six times saying that what he’s done is good, now complete when this is all finished with man in place, he says this is a very good. To behold there makes us kind of try to see it from God’s perspective and invites us to have that relationship. The creator of the universe tells us to look at it from his perspective, where he says behold this is real really good, this is what my heart likes.

Everything is in perfect harmony with God’s will. There’s a connection between the creator and the creation, it does his will. There’s a connection between his creation and other creation, harmony between them. There’s internal integrity, there’s meaning and purpose for every person right from the beginning they are given a mission and a purpose.

We read at the end of Genesis 2, right before the fall, that man is at that point naked and unashamed, the man and the woman in the garden are. Before the fall it was very good. So, what we can extrapolate from that for us today is that if we see things, and we will if our eyes are open, that are very disturbing in this world we cannot say that it’s God’s fault.

God create a very good world with us in it, with a mission for us, and we’ve failed him in this mission. We rebelled against him, we didn’t just not measure up, we rebelled against God. So, the problem that we see in this world are due to us, due to humans. It’d be so easy to just squish us and move on with his creation, but he actually reaches out to us in love right from the beginning, that’s pretty amazing.

So, in addition to creating everything that we needed around us, and creating us and giving us life, in addition to commission us for service God doesn’t just wind us up and let us go and send us out there to do good things. Praise God he doesn’t instead, he provides the means as well. Right from the beginning.

I think I’d always thought of Genesis 3:15, the proto Gospel, when he first mentions that that a seed of the woman will crush the serpent eventually, I thought that’s the beginning of the Gospel. Yet there’s something here with what God does at the beginning of chapter 2 that really lays the groundwork for it as well. That’s the creation of Sabbath, on the seventh day.

This is super different from the other six days of creation because God doesn’t work, he rests. It says he finished, he rested, he stopped. We read that he also made it holy and blessed it. That is not actually work, that is God enjoying his creation saying this is separate, this is holy, this is good. The seventh day is holy.

It implies his own enjoyment of it. It’s not that he needs to rest, it’s not that he’s tired, but it’s an intentional choice to rest. He’s just shown us, just specifically said that humans were created in the image of God and what does he do to show us what that image looks like? The first thing he does after his creation is finished, after he modeled that for us, he rests, right from the beginning and gives us the shape of our relationship with him.

He returns to this again and again. In Genesis 2:15 it says that man is putting
Gardens in the garden to work it in to keep. To keep it is same thing as rest, the same verb there. Noah will give us rest from our work we read when Noah comes on the scene in Genesis 5. The Ark, in chapter 8, comes to rest on Mount Ararat.

In Exodus 20:8-11, each time that you rest and let others rest is the command that God gives. You must keep the Sabbath holy and then also give a break to the other people who are working for you as well. Then in Hebrews 3 we find out that this is actually the future that we have to look forward to is a rest.

What is the shape of this, why do I keep I keep saying rest over and over again? We see that God first blessed the Sabbath, he blesses it and he sets it apart. He sets it apart, why? For himself, for his own presence, for it to be his own dwelling place to dwell among them and to shape the relationship with his creatures.

Secondly, and I think most importantly, he does it to teach us and show us to trust in him and not to our own efforts. Again, he doesn’t wind us up, tell us to be fruitful and multiply, and send this out to go do it. No, he’s calling us repeatedly, even with the shape of our week, each week to return and recognize that we can’t do it without him, that he’s the only way that we’re able to do any of this.

Remember again, the original audience, they just came out of Egypt. They were just promised basically everything by God. God reminded them of what he had done taking them out of Egypt then gave them the Ten Commandments to keep them from bumping into things and hurting themselves. The basis is he set for their relationship is going to be his steadfast love toward them, not they’re keeping of commandments because they fail again and again.

So that Sabbath observance that Israel is called to, that we are called to, is a trust in God; the creator of everything, the creator of our world, the creator of us. When he gives us everything, we need to recognize that we ultimately aren’t going to bring it about. We aren’t the ones that God needs to get on board with. Rather he is the one that can do more with us in 6 days than we can do on our own in 7 days.

He is Jehovah Jireh, our provider. If we ever cut ourselves off from that connection with him, or if we ever catch ourselves thinking that if God would just get on board with what we’re doing, he could learn a little bit from us. Then we’re off track. His grace is sufficient for us.

That Sabbath, which is holy, which is to be remembered, which is set apart and special is not a burden. The Sabbath, Jesus tells us a Mark 2, was made for man not man for the Sabbath. So, it is something that we get to do, something that shapes our lives, something that helps us. Sabbath was made for man.

The ultimate way in which we know that we can trust God, which the Sabbath evokes enough, is because of what God did for us in Jesus, after we rebelled against him. We know where the story is going in Genesis 3, we’re going to rebel against our creator, and he doesn’t let us go. Instead he pays a significant price for us, to restore will we had lost, to restore them very good creation that he had created.

God’s resting, his dwelling with us, is the kind of thing that we do at home. You rest at home. This afternoon you may go take a nap in your house. He’s resting has to do with the safety of dwelling with the creator of the universe, who even though we rebelled against him, cares so much about his creation and so much about those that he was called to be with him that Jesus will not let a single one of them go.

Earth is to be his dwelling place too, to live with his creatures. Ultimately this reminds us of the New Heaven and THE New Earth we have to look forward to in Revelation 21 and 22, in which we will have our ultimate rest.

That seventh day, what distinguishes it again from all the rest of creation, even more significantly is the fact that it hasn’t stopped. There is no “and it was evening, and it was morning the seventh day”. We are still living in this time today. We live in the Sabbath, that is God providing for his people even when we do no work. Even before we’ve done anything for him.

It provides the framework for grace. Kind of the background sketch that grace steps into when we need it after rebelling against God. One commentator describes the Sabbath as God’s wedding present to Israel. It was instituted beforehand but is explicitly given to Israel here. The illustration there of a wedding ring is so helpful, I think. A wedding ring is not your promise of what you’ve given to your wife or to your husband, it’s a reminder of what they’ve promised to you.

The Sabbath again is not something to keep pedantically, it’s not something to do just because it’s our duty, it’s something that we get to receive from our good creator.

Matthew 11:28-30, and even before that, talks about the fact that no one comes to the father except through Jesus. That is true now that we rebelled against our creator. But the Sabbath rest that is offered when he says, “take my yoke upon you and I will give you rest”, that’s Jesus who says that. That is peace with God, enjoying his presence, returning to what we had originally.

We will have a piece of it today. We have first fruits. We have a in breaking of the kingdom coming for the future. We have the echoes of Eden reminding us of what we had in the past, but we will have it again when Jesus returns this Earth.

This is one of the reasons why we celebrate communion, to remind us of what Jesus has done. That he dwells with us now and he’s spiritually present with us as we take communion. Also, to remind us of where we’re going in the future, to orient ourselves in this world. Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going? Who are we? We are part of God’s creation, and more made in God’s image, noble, good, and valuable.

Secondly, with a mission for this life. Our mission in this age, the church age, to expand the kingdom, to be fruitful and multiply, is to proclaim the gospel of grace. That framework was first set up with Sabbath and culminating in Jesus eventually.

Then third, to trust him and lean on him entirely as the source, the power source, through which all this can come only by leaning on him and his provision and not our own. All this for this life and for the life to come, involves glorifying God and enjoy him forever. It’s good news that even when we rebelled God did not forsake us. That God who created a very good creation seeks to restore us and return us to that in the name of Jesus.

Would you pray with me?

Gracious Father, we thank you. We thank you and praise you for your incredible provision for us. Father we thank you often for the work of Jesus even though we don’t even fully appreciate the incredible sacrifice that you made. Father we often fail to thank you for just giving us life, for creating incredible diversity when you created this world, for giving us the perfect habitat, for showing us what it means to be a human being. We pray Father that you would show and remind us in this coming week as we go forward, and we’re bombarded with different ideas and images through advertising and elsewhere through conversations, different ideas about who we are and where we come from. Remind us and show us Father that we are made in your image, that you have given us a charge for this Earth, and that the only way to execute it is by trusting in you. We pray this in the power and the name of Jesus. Amen.