from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD
God gave both plants (vv.11-12) and animals (vv.21, 24-25) the ability to reproduce themselves. He made life self-perpetuating. What an amazing gift! He shared a portion of His life-giving ability with each of His creatures.
My wife will often ask me what is the purpose of some particular animal. I don’t really have an answer, except that life is the purpose. God is a God of life! Overflowing, abundant, infinitely varied life! Life fills earth’s macro-systems (some look at this entire earth as a single, living organism). And life fills our micro-systems, with tiny drops of water containing varied communities of their own.
When God created non-human life forms on this earth, He said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of creatures” (v.20, NASB) or “Let the earth bring forth living creatures” (v.24, NASB), but with human beings, He said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (v.26a, NASB). All living things derive their life from God, but we in a special sense.
God…breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7, NASB).
He patterned us after Himself – not physically, but spiritually, intellectually, morally. He shared Himself with us. He even shared a bit of His sovereignty, allowing us to rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (v.26b, NASB).
Life is a gift. We human beings didn’t originate ourselves, nor did we ask to be created. What’s more, our physical lives are in many ways self-perpetuating. Most of our physical functions are automatic and self-administering. Our heart beats without our input. We breathe without deciding to do so. Our cells do their work without our conscious involvement. About all we need to do is feed and water ourselves, and for that we’ve been given powerful drives as reminders. Life is truly a gift!
Even our physical bodies point to God as a magnificent, powerful, all-wise, and deeply-loving Creator. How should we respond? By thanking Him sincerely and often, and by treasuring His image in all human life, both in ourselves and in others.