“So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female.” Genesis 1:27
What does it mean to bear the image of God? It means that we are unlike all other life on planet earth. Nothing else on earth demonstrates moral or spiritual awareness like we do. Concepts like honor, integrity and natural beauty are lost completely on the entirety of the animal kingdom. Dolphins don’t watch the sun set with awe. Monkeys don’t concern themselves with right and wrong. Nothing in nature is quite like being human.
“When I observe Your heavens,
the work of Your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which You set in place,
what is man that You remember him,
the son of man that You look after him?
You made him little less than God
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him lord over the works of Your hands;
You put everything under his feet:
all the sheep and oxen,
as well as the animals in the wild,
the birds of the sky,
and the fish of the sea
that pass through the currents of the seas.”
Human life is unique and valuable because it bears the image of God. And throughout scripture God takes pains to protect it. In Genesis 9 God issues his first decree against murder, and the reason He gives for protecting human life is that we bear His image. We are stamped with something special and it would be good to remember that when we look at one another. Whether young (Biblically this includes the womb) or old, rich and famous or down and out, Olympic athletes and quadriplegics, genius or mentally handicapped, every man, woman and child on earth bears the mark of divinity and deserves to be treated with the dignity and respect equal of such an honor.
READ: Psalm 139: 13-16, Genesis 9:6, Exodus 21:22-25, James 3:7-9
THINK: If human life is as sacred as it appears in scripture, is abortion really a matter of “choice”? Why? And does the same argument hold true for euthanasia? What message does it send to people when Christians refuse to engage in discussing these and other difficult issues?
PRAY: Lift up the hundreds of thousands of men and women facing these issues right now. Ask God to give them a burden of love and responsibility toward those who are to young or old to care for themselves.
ACT: These are volatile and complex issues. Consider volunteering at a medical clinic for women or a nursing home near you. Talk to your pastor about addressing the sanctity of human life at your church in some way.
RESOURCES: There are a number of resources available on-line. Life Choices is a ministry located here in Joplin, MO that we recommend.