The Clue

How God's Image in Us Hints at the Answers to Life's Toughest Questions

Genesis 1:26–27 (NKJV)

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

“Why God, why?”

No one gets through life without asking that question—certainly no believer. Terrible things happen. We accept that God’s ways are not our ways and that we aren’t equipped to understand His perspective, but it’d be nice to have some kind of an explanation for why things are the way they are.

Turns out, there is one. The fact that we’re created in the image of God gives us a handle on what He’s up to. It’s only a partial explanation, but it’s better than nothing.

Today’s passage, in context, says four things:

  • We’re created in God’s image.
  • Everything else isn’t.
  • That image is equally in both man and woman.
  • God told us this.

That last point is often underappreciated in interpreting Scripture. Anything that made the cut to get into the Bible is there for a reason. God doesn’t waste words.

The third point is important to preclude a particularly sinful behavior that would have surely resulted had God not included it. That’s why it made the cut. It also serves to emphasize that everyone is in the image of God—not just both sexes, but all nations, all classes, etc.

It’s the first two points, and the comparison between them, that yield some of the deepest insights. God gave us a wonderful clue about Himself when He told us that we are created in His image.

God must have intended us to pay attention to this; He said it three times in Genesis 1:26-27.

This series, titled “The Clue,” will try to answer some of life’s toughest questions by investigating God’s image in us. This, in turn, can give us a more accurate mental image of God.

Of course, our mental image of God can never be glorious enough. Still, we can’t avoid having some kind of image of Him. That’s like trying to not think of an elephant. Right or wrong, we’ll always have some concept of who God is. Getting this right (or as right as possible) is of inestimable value.

“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” — John 4:24 (NKJV)

A proper mental image of God is essential to worship.

All the weekly study guides, which include all five devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.