Read Genesis 9:1-6
1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons and told them, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth.2 All the animals of the earth, all the birds of the sky, all the small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the fish in the sea will look on you with fear and terror. I have placed them in your power. 3 I have given them to you for food, just as I have given you grain and vegetables. 4 But you must never eat any meat that still has the lifeblood in it.
5 “And I will require the blood of anyone who takes another person’s life. If a wild animal kills a person, it must die. And anyone who murders a fellow human must die. 6 If anyone takes a human life, that person’s life will also be taken by human hands. For God made human beings in his own image. (NLT)
By the time described in our passage today, human beings had given God no end of trouble. So much so that he resolved to wipe them out and start again with a faithful remnant. Two things stand out as far as this faithful remnant is concerned.
One is that they weren’t much improvement over those who had been destroyed. Noah and his family were no role models of faithfulness and morality. The stain of human disobedience was not obliterated by the flood.
Another thing to stand out is that these wilful human beings still bear the image and likeness of God. They bear his imprint irrespective of how badly they have marred that imprint. Human disobedience does not nullify the image and likeness. That is why human evil is so serious: it violates the dignity of human beings. Human beings are not merely more advanced animals. They have special status.
So as we think of those who frustrate us, those who have wounded us and others, don’t forget that they too are in the image and likeness of God. Our failures and their failures do not rob us or them of our special status. The lingering image of God in us makes human wrongdoing so very serious and reminds us just how seriously God takes each one of us.