Coincidence or Created?
Who am I? Who are we? What am I doing here? What are we doing here? They are the big questions of life. Important questions. Questions that need an answer, and the answer we give to them will impact the lives that we live.
It’s seen in our desire for significance, self-worth, self-esteem. Today perhaps more than ever in a world where we have everything that is deemed to make life meaningful somehow we’re still not satisfied, people are still looking for real significance, for value, for meaning, worth and DIGNITY, without it the world seems such a cold, cruel, and uninviting place, and as the world becomes more Godless the more piercing, the more shrill, those questions seem to get – the reality is no-one wants to be a NOBODY, we all want to be SOMEBODY, but who?
SO, WHO AM I?
Who am I? Is it what I do (Father, mother, teacher, accountant, mechanic, gardener etc….) – but what if those things stop, I can no longer do my job/lose it? Is it my looks, my appearance, but what if that changes? My education – what if I don’t have one, or I can’t keep it up? Is it the sum of my health and fitness – but what if I fall sick, can’t run or play like I used to? Maybe it’s my wealth/bank balance – but what if I lose it? My possessions? Whatever answer we come to must work whether you are rich or poor, educated or not, have or have not, in sickness and in health, and where ever you find yourself.
If I am a coincidence, then I’m here by accident. It wasn’t intended, it just happens to be. If that applies to me, it must also apply to you, in fact to us all. That means we don’t know where we come from, don’t know who we are, and we don’t know why we are, and we don’t know where we are going. There’s no guide, no authority, you can make it up as you go along. Life is simply what you make it – that’s a pretty hopeless scenario.
But somehow we feel life is more than that, we are not content with an animal existence. There must be more than this. It’s evidenced by the fact that wherever you go in the world you’ll find some kind of belief in a higher power, a god, or gods. And if we don’t have one, then we’ll make one, and usually quite accommodating.
Some in the world of science (and I say some because not all) would say it just happened, there was a bang, and then… and then…. and even then there is no actual agreement between the sciences as to how it happened – the cosmologist will differ from the paleontologist who will also differ from the geologist etc.. It should be remembered that science is subject to change, and nobody approaches it with an entirely open mind, every scientist will bring his or her own presuppositions to it. In fact contrary to popular science of television there is no unified understanding of how the world came into being. There are many hypotheses.
The fact is science cannot answer the big questions of life, it can only take us so far, what we need is REVELATION, something from outside of us, from someone higher than us. The Bible is God’s revelation and it paints quite a different picture. It speaks of creation not coincidence, cause not chaos, purpose not pointlessness, a creator not simply an event…. And where this message has been heard and received it has lifted and enabled humanity to be a better creature and serve a more noble purpose.
Yes, we may share a large percentage of our DNA with the animal world, but that shouldn’t be surprising because we are all made to live within the same environment, yet there is something that separates us from the rest of creation, what we might call the consciousness of the infinite. Humans seem to be aware of and seek something beyond the finite, animals don’t. Ecclesiastes refers to it as “eternity in our hearts.” The Psalmist (Ps 8) gets at it when having described the universe says, “What is man that you are mindful of him?”
So what does the Bible say? “In the beginning God…….And God said, “Let us make man in our image….””
1. God created. (Gen. 1:1). The universe is not an accident but here by design.
2. Mankind was specifically created. (1:26, 27). The act of creative activity here is very clearly separated from that of the animals and vegetation. Man didn’t evolve out of something to become what he/she is today, but was specifically created.
3. God breathed into him the breath of life, something he didn’t do with any other part of creation, so granting him a different and higher kind of life to that of the animal world. (Gen. 2:7).
4. He was made in the image of God – image = like, God like, like God, yet not God. The pinnacle of creation (Gen. 1:26, 27).
5. He was made to know God – commune with God, hearing and speaking in a very personal way (Gen. 1:28,29; 3:8, 9, 10), again something the animal world is not able to do.
6. He was given dominion, co-regency over all the earth (Gen. 1:28-30).