When you hear someone say, “We are made in the image of God.” What do you envision? Is it something like a portly person sitting around with your legs folded, spouting off pithy statements? For others they may feel that being made in the image of God, we have somehow been endowed with super powers, making us capable of doing anything. However, I don’t believe that is what the Bible is trying to tell us at all.
As good students of Scripture we have to learn to take things in their context. From our context there are at least two ways that we can understand what this text is trying to tell us. First God created everything and is in control of everything. Please take note the when God made the animals of the land and the birds of the air, or the fish of the sea they were after own kind. Therefore by creating man to rule in dominion over creation, he made us in his own image to act as his viceroys on earth.
Another way the phrase could be looked at is when God speaks of creating us, it specifically refers to man and woman being one in different forms as God himself is. John Sailhamer in is commentary on Genesis makes a good statement about this, “Following this clue the divine plurality expressed in v.26 is seen as an anticipation of the human plurality of the man and woman, thus casting the human relationship between man and woman in the role of reflecting God’s own personal relationship with himself.” (Sailhamer 1981, 38)
After delving into this study I would agree with both options I have presented, we are both viceroys in charge of what the Lord has given us and also as man and woman we are the greatest example of his plurality that can be witnessed on earth. And as far as the creation account explaining the relationship to the woman to the man, God looked at everything else he had created and saw that it was good, but it was not good for man to be alone. So he then created woman after man to give him a companion or a help mate. It was not a sub-serviant role because we are told that he created them male and female. She is there to help complete and fulfill man since Adam was made from the ground and Eve (woman) came from his flesh. “Then the man said,“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” (Genesis 2:23, ESV)
Sailhamer, John H. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary- Genesis. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1981.