THE MASTERPIECE OF GOD’S HANDS
THE HEAVENS declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows and proclaims His handiwork. (Psalm 19:1) AMP.
God is a master craftsman, an intelligent and most superior being. He fashioned the entire universe out of nothing. He is a creator; the greatest ever. All of creation speaks of His creative works as seen in Rom. 1:20, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”
A masterpiece is a piece of work that has been given much critical praise, especially one that is considered the greatest work of a person’s career. It is a work of outstanding creativity, skill, or workmanship. All of creation declares the handiwork of God. The heavens were described in Psalm 19 as uttering speech and showing knowledge night unto night. The beauty of the heavens is so pronounced that there is no speech nor spoken word their voice is not heard. The voice of the heavens which is the effect it has on humanity goes out through all the earth.
The sun is also described as having a tent in the heavens and it is like a newly married man coming from his bride-tent, and is glad like a strong runner starting on his way and there is nothing on earth hidden from the heat of the sun. Such is the wonder of God’s creation.
God spoke the world into existence as evidenced in the words, “Let there be…” God is likened to a potter that molds clay (Isa.29:16). And we are likened to the clay (Isa.64:8). Man is God’s greatest masterpiece as we will go into more details concerning man being God’s masterpiece. Genesis 1 gives us detail upon detail of God’s creative ability. Man was created to have dominion over all of God’s works.
Man was also given the creative abilities of God. God reproduced himself in man and we see proofs in the instructions from God to Noah to build an ark (Gen.6:14-16). God gave him a pattern with which to build. When it also came to building the tabernacle, God also gave directives to Moses and Aholiab and Bezalel were anointed by God to build the tabernacle as seen in Exodus 36:1, “Then wrought Bezalel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the LORD put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the LORD had commanded.”
GOD THE POTTER AND MAN THE CLAY.
As indicated earlier, man is God’s greatest work, His greatest masterpiece. And as His creation, He has the right to do to us as he deems fit. The prophets in the Old Testament era knew this about God. As the potter, He brings us into shape as he sees befitting. The clay cannot dictate to the potter, so also can we not dictate to God how He should put us in shape. God uses circumstances around us most times arranged by Him to discipline us and keep us in check. When God sees we are derailing and not in the shape he wants of us, he brings us under him and applies the chisel (discipline) on us to bring us in shape (that we might be partakers of His holiness (Heb.12:10).
It is God’s prerogative to apply the rod on us when we are found wanting. If he doesn’t put us in shape, then we don’t qualify to be his clay; in other words if we are without discipline from God, then we become bastards. Discipline is not a joyous experience but as the clay we are, God disciplines us that He may achieve in us the peaceable fruit of righteousness (Heb.12:11). God deals with us as his sons if we endure discipline for He is the Father of spirits (Heb.12:7, 9).
“Woe to those who quarrel with their maker, those who are nothing but potsherds among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, what are you making?” Does your work say, ‘The potter has no hands’?” (Isa.45:9). In Isa.45:9, God is the potter and Israel is the clay. God is molding Israel according to his plans and purposes. What was once true of Israel is true of us. God is the potter and we are His clay. He is in the process of shaping us, so that we might be everything he has created us to be.
In the New Testament book of Ephesians, we glimpse a moving picture of God’s grace. This grace not only saves us, but also remakes us. We see this profoundly in Ephesians 2:8-10: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” We are saved by God’s grace, and this salvation is not just life after death, but also a new way of living now.
God’s grace renews and remakes us. By grace, we are God’s handiwork, and God has wonderful things for us to do. God is no amateur potter but an artisan who has already begun to shape us into a masterpiece. God sees potential in us that we cannot envision. He has hope for us far beyond our expectations. He will use us to do more than we imagine if we allow him to work in and through us. As we see in Ephesians 3:20-21, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
MAN – CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD
The bible reveals much about us. The men and women depicted in the bible are real, complete with their strengths and weaknesses. It pulls no punches. It states things in stark truth. It shows us as we really are. Man is the crowning glory of God’s creative work. God made the earth as a home for man. In order to understand ourselves we need to know how we were made. Man was created in the image of God:
- God is a Spirit. Therefore man is spiritually sensitive. It is no mistake that there are so many religions in the world. We were created with a need to worship God. It is built into our very nature. When man rebelled against God this need to worship had to be filled. Man began to worship other spiritual creatures to fulfil this in-built need.
- God is a moral being. Therefore man is a moral being, with a free will and the power to choose between right and wrong. We are responsible for the choices we make.
- God is a purposeful being. Therefore man is an active responsive creature, capable of doing planned, purposeful work. In the beginning man was given authority, but with responsibility. Man was meant to work.
- God is a creative being. Therefore man is a creative being, able to appreciate beauty, order, and purpose, and having the urge to create them. This is a reflection of God’s creative ability.
- God is a lordly being. Therefore man is a lordly creature to whom God gave dominion over the earth.
- God is a rational being. Therefore man is a rational creature, able to think, reason, imagine and communicate. Man is the only creature which has any form of written language, allowing one generation to communicate to many generations after it.
God gave man intelligence and understanding as part of his preparation for life. We know this because:
- Adam gave names to all the animals. This was a display and extension of God’s creative ability to man.
- God gave Adam authority over the earth, indicating that God trusted Adam’s judgment.
WHY GOD CREATED MAN
- God created man in His own image. The point of an image is to display the original, glorify the original, In order for the world to be filled with the reflectors of God so that nobody will miss the point of creation.
- God created us to know him, love him and show him forth.
- The universe is declaring the glory of God and the reason we exist is to see it and be stunned by it and glorify God because of it (Rom.1:20-21).
- We were created to see his glory, be thrilled by his glory, and live so as to help others see him and savor him for what he really is.
- God created us for his pleasure (Rev.4:11).
- God created us to be his earthly habitation (Eph.2:21-22).