I have been very puzzled these past couple of weeks about why so much emphasis on male and female? The Holy Spirit quickened in my spirit where this notion comes from in the interpretation of the Bible.
Okay, so the creation story says:
God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27.
Applying some sort of logic we arrive at, a) God created mankind male and female. b)God created mankind in His own image. c) therefore, God is male and female, and the attributes of God can be classified as male and female.
I find this logic to be false because, a) the statement can just as easily be interpreted that both male and female were created in the image of God, without God divvying up Himself between male and female; b) divine attributes of God can not easily or coherently be divided into male and female, as revealed by His Name and mentioned before to be considered the divine attributes in Rabbinical teaching:
Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” Exodus 34:5-7.
and c) we have a deeper revelation in Christ, and that God is perfecting us in spirit, into the Image of His Son By the Holy Spirit, who is the Lord.
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Corinthians 3:17.
In Christ, by the Spirit of the Lord, there is no male and female. I find that very liberating!
I would now like to go ahead and explain what I have come to understand by being: the image and likeness of God.
Jumping in at the seventh day we find:
And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. Genesis 2:3.
So why does the scripture say “God created and made”. Going back to the beginning to that famous verse:
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Genesis 1:1.
“The heaven and the earth”, is called a merism, and means to combine two contrasting words to denote an entirety.
In the beginning can easily be translated, “at first” or “The first thing God did was create everything.”
Then He proceeded to make it. How did He proceed? By speaking. (what, never heard that one before? me either, the Holy Spirit showed me.)
So what does it mean to create? Creativity is in the imagination. The sculptor sees the completed work in the block of marble with his imagination, only then does he proceed to work. In what way is man most like God and distinguished from the rest of creation. 1. The power to speak, which is huge because God displayed the power to make so much simply by speaking, after creating it all in His imagination.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21.
Secondly, we have the power of imagination, to be creative, does that not make us after God’s image. Why did the first judgment come after 600 years?
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5.
My understanding is profoundly satisfied by the notion that the image of God is conveyed by our ability to imagine, to create ideas and then convey them through the power of speech. This is why what we say is so important that Jesus said:
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. Matthew 12:36,37.
Striving to speak the truth in love.