In the Image and Likeness of God
SAYS Jehovah God’s own matchless description of man’s creation: “Let us make man in our image after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the bird of the heavens and over the tame-beast, and over all the land, and over every creeping thing that creepeth on the land. And God created the man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the bird of the heavens, and over every living thing that moveth on the land.”—Gen. 1:26-28, Ro.
A Father beyond compare, Jehovah could pass on to his earthly children relative amounts of the great attributes which he possesses in the supreme degree. “A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is he.” Thus a sense of justice would be implanted in man’s brain. Able and strong would man be too, for “great is our Lord, and mighty in power”. There would be no lack of insight by earth’s steward, “for Jehovah giveth wisdom; out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” And finally, to temper all of these qualities and provide the motive behind his every action, man must have love. This Jehovah was pre-eminently qualified to supply because he is the absolute personification of it. “God is love,” wrote the apostle John.—Deut. 32:4; Ps. 147:5; Prov. 2:6, AS; 1 John 4:16, NW.
However, due to the early entry of sin into human affairs, man’s multiplying has filled the earth generally not with the right use of these faculties but with their wholesale violation. Justice has become a commodity to be purchased on the open market. Soft government jobs at public expense become rewards for campaign favors rendered victorious candidates. Crime probes uncover the revolting fact that highest government echelons, elected to represent the people and administer justice, have, in one community after another, sold out to gangsters, gamblers and hoodlums. With bribes buying everything from athletic contests to court decisions, the Department of Justice of the world’s mightiest democracy was embarrassed by having to employ a corruption investigator to investigate itself.
Nor is justice any more reasonable on an international scale. A wave of humanitarianism dictated rapid postwar aid by America for Europe, where urgent defenses against Soviet expansion were being built up. Yet the scales of justice seemed to stick when it came to swinging toward the cries of millions of Asiatics for enough food to avert starvation, where the political stakes did not offer any apparent strong anticommunist ally in return. God’s law in Israel stipulated regular provision for the poor, and not on the basis of favors in return, either. (Ex. 23:11) Furthermore, Jehovah tempers his absolute justice with undeserved kindness, something for which modern man has no parallel in his merciless international dealings. Were it not for this mercy none of us would have been born following the rebellion of Adam. But this does not require God to simply overlook this fallen world’s travesty on justice, as he shows by the warning to Israel when guilty of the same:
“Listen to this, you judges over the house of Israel, who spurn at justice and twist equity, who build your Sion up with bloodshed and Jerusalem on crime, judges passing verdicts for a bribe, priests pattering oracles for pay, prophets divining for money, and all the while relying on the Eternal, saying, ‘Surely the Eternal is among us; no evil can befall us!’ Therefore on your account shall Sion be ploughed up like a field, Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, the temple-hill merely a wooded height.”—Mic. 3:9-12, Mo.
RESULTS TO BODY AND MIND
Human physical strength, once intended to dress and keep the paradisaic Eden, now rips and blasts the earth instead. Forests and topsoil have been laid waste, the rivers clogged, the air polluted with smoke and industrial fumes. Instead of exercising dominion over animalkind, wanton “Nimrods” have shot birds from the sky, left carcasses of beasts behind them in the forests and reduced many life forms to rarity or extinction. The might of the earth is massed behind political blocs which use it to cajole and threaten their adversaries or, this failing, to blow them to atoms. Thus are earth’s many valuable natural resources depleted and scientific progress in peacetime research negated because needed materials are diverted more and more for war. Global peace organizations, instead of securing the unity they promised, more sorely divide what unity there was, splitting some existing nations into north and south or east and west divisions. Even children, born under such influence, ape their elders and early show off the bully instinct. Truly every man’s hand is raised against his neighbor and God’s covenant for the sanctity of life is laughed off, this attitude being excused in the name of patriotism. As Isaiah the prophet put it: “The earth also is polluted under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant.”—Zech. 14:13; Isa. 24:5, AS.
“The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom,” wrote the psalmist. (Ps. 111:10, AS) This world fears everyone and everything except Jehovah—the politician with his authority, the militarist with his weapons, the clergyman with his dire tales of waiting purgatories and hell-fires. The sound wisdom laid down in Eden, teaching the true worship of Jehovah the Almighty, under devil rule was corrupted to heathendom’s polytheistic worship of a pantheon of gods and Christendom’s confusing sectarianism.
Their minds so enmeshed in the sophistries and traditions of men, their store of Bible knowledge so utterly impoverished, many of Christendom’s clergy, in their mortal dread of the scoffer’s taunts and unable to answer the simplest criticisms of God’s Word, have retreated behind the cloak of “modernism”. From there they smugly brand as myths great portions of the Bible, including the accounts of creation, the flood, the tower of Babel and virtually all recorded miracles. More and more are trying to find room for the fairy tale of evolution by which atheists seek to substitute animal ancestors for a Creator. Meanwhile late scientific discoveries such as the reports from the uranium and radiocarbon clocks continue to shred away evolution’s untenable position; and A. N. Field, New Zealand journalist, brands modern evolutionary science “the lowest point in intellectual degeneration reached by civilized man in the past two thousand years”. (Why Colleges Breed Communists) Embarrassed clergy and your God-defying allies, listen to the challenge of the One you have ignored and betrayed and answer it if you care to:
“‘I will make the wisdom of the wise men perish, and I will shove the intelligence of the intellectual aside.’ Where is the wise man? Where the scribe? Where the debater of this system of things? Did not God make the wisdom of the world foolish? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not get to know God, God saw good through the foolishness of what is preached to save those believing.”—1 Cor. 1:19-21, NW.
LOVE—LOST AND REGAINED
The last major quality, love, might be termed by evolutionists a “vestigial trait”—a part of man’s make-up no longer used. As already shown, he does not exercise it toward his God, his fellow man, the lower animals, or his inanimate earthly home. A world under demonic influence has substituted lust and its fruitage of sex madness and riotous drunken debauchery reflected in the daily news reports. It is the last days of those who do not see that “the scene of this world is changing” and of whom the inspired apostle said: “Their finish is destruction, and their god is their belly, and their glory consists in their shame, and they have their minds upon things on the earth.”—1 Cor. 7:31; Phil. 3:19, NW.
In such hands marriage has become a farce, one’s home not even safe from the greed of the wife-stealer. With so many marrying for a lark it is small wonder that divorces multiply, secured for the most insipient reasons. Children, so often unwanted, go unloved, their neglect adding to the causes for juvenile delinquency in a society that is “disobedient to parents, without gratitude, with no loving-kindness, having no natural affection”. (2 Tim. 3:2, 3, NW) What a forlorn, unjust, brow-beating, conceited, loveless world this is! How far a cry its present caretakers from the man first formed in the image of God!
All who practice such habits might as well learn now that God will not forsake his righteous standard to reduce himself to their level and conform to theirs. But Jehovah will bring about the sort of world he purposed from the beginning, with willing conformers discharging their God-given dominion. This Noah’s sons prefigured with their wives following the Noachian flood, which Jesus said pictured Armageddon, now near. (Gen. 9:1-3; Matt. 24:38, 39) Then God’s appointed King, Christ Jesus, will judge righteously and rule peacefully. Man’s physical resources will be utilized in restoring and maintaining an earth-wide paradise, building and inhabiting prosperously. (Ps. 72:1-4; Isa. 65:17-25) Wisdom, stability and unity will result when the worship of the one true God, Jehovah, fills the land. And with love replacing lust and covetousness, think of the uplift sure to come to human relations. Think what marriage will be like: husbands “loving their wives as their own bodies”, the wife holding “deep respect for her husband”, children obedient to godly parents, who, not irritating their sons and daughters, “go on bringing them up in the discipline and authoritative advice of Jehovah.”—Mic. 4:1-5; Isa. 33:6; 1 Cor. 13; Eph. 5:28-33; 6:1-4, NW.
Knowing this, seeing it near, reading and believing God’s Word now, sincere Christians begin at once practicing such proper, godly use of their powers. Since by “the foolishness [to this world] of what is preached” saving to life is taking place, they give their full devotion to that, living now as they preach that all who live at all will live soon in the new world where “righteousness is to dwell”.—2 Pet. 3:13, NW.