There is something very powerful about reading a familiar passage over and over again. Though at times it may seem as though there is nothing left to learn, most times I discover something “new” and glorious in God’s perfect Word.
This morning was one of those times.
For all the repeating phrases in the creation song of Genesis:
“And God said…”
“And there was evening, and there was morning…”
“God saw that it was good…”
“Be fruitful and multiply…”
There was one I hadn’t seen before. Nine times from verses 11 through 25 we read that God made all things “according to their kind.”
11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.”
12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind.
21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind.
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.”
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.
Why I had never seen this before is beyond me, for when these are taken together with verse 26, a whole new layer of richness and glory comes through loud and clear. Verse 26 of Genesis 1 says:
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, pafter 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.”
Every creature on earth was made after its own kind, meaning that plants, fish, birds, mammals, and all manner of creepy crawlys, have their own species. But man’s “kind” is God. We were made like him. Our closest relative is not the chimpanzee, it’s the God of the universe. We were made according to His kind. We were fashioned to be like Him. We are not mere animals or mere mortals; all mankind was made according to the One who who has made all “kinds.”
All human dignity, honor, and worth is bound up in this fact. Without God’s likeness as our template, we have no form. Our existence is not simply a result of God’s creation, it is bound up in God’s very essence.
This is what makes sin so egregious and the cross so necessary. We ripped ourselves away from our sustaining foundation but Jesus brings us back together. That’s what the Bible is all about; God in Christ remaking the intimate relationship between God and man until one day it will be more real and full and complete than ever before.