WE ARE GOD’S IDOLS

We are created in the image of God. To be in the image of God is to represent Him in doing His will. It comes just from the way that the wording is expressed in the original. What you have in Genesis 1:27 is the word ‘tselem’ in Hebrew. That term is a standard term elsewhere in the Old Testament translated by the word ‘idol’. In other words, when a person reading in Hebrew looks at Genesis 1:27, it says literally God created man in His own idol or as His own idol. As the idol of God, “He created Him male and female He created them. This means that humans are God’s idols. What does an idol do? How did the people understand ‘idol’ in the Old Testament times? Well, when they came to the shrine of an idol of a pagan god, like Asherah (Canaanite goddess), and gave an offering to it hoping to get a good fertility on their crops and cattle, and so on, they believed that Asherah actually saw what they offered and prayed for. Now, using that terminology well-known in their culture, Moses describes our creation in God’s image as like an idol. We are God’s idols. We are the real idols of God. We are the actual idols of God. So therefore, the practice of making of idols of gods and goddesses is ridiculous because humans are God’s representatives on earth, not statues. Secondly, this truth also tells something us about why we exist. We exist to represent God; to do on this earth things that God wants done. And so in Genesis 1:28 “God blessed them and said, be fruitful, increase in number, fill the earth, subdue it, rule over the fish of the sea, birds of the air, and every living creature. So we get the job assignment; to be in the image of God is to have a job, and the job is to take good care of the world. That’s what it means to be in the image of God. Now, surely we also have similarities to God; intellectually, we do think at a higher plane than animals do, but that’s not what’s basically in the word image. The basic notion of being in the image of God is to have a job assignment – to represent Him on earth, not merely in the sense that we are like Him in some ontological way.