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In the mid—twentieth century, psychologist Erik Erikson coined the term “identity crisis” to describe a developmental issue that occurs during adolescence. That phrase has since been used to describe the common plight of people wrestling with the questions “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” The early theologian Augustine of Hippo (AD 354—430) addressed this issue as he prayed, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you.” (Confessions 1.1).
In successive days, God created light (1:3-5); the sky (1:6-8); the seas and dry land (1:9-13); the sun, moon, and stars (1:14-19); living creatures that inhabit the water and the sky (1:20-23); and land animals (1:24, 25). The text’s focus throughout is on the planet Earth, either directly or indirectly.
All these occurrences build to a crescendo and lead to the anticipation of God’s creation of Man. The author (Moses) appears in a hurry to get to his focus: the creation of humanity (1:26-31). Not included in the record are any blessings or commands God gave the land animals to multiply, as he had done to creatures of the air and sea in 1:22; compare 8:17).
God not only creates everything but there is a special attention given to the creation of man that allows us to see the unique creation and purpose of man by God. It will do us well to pay attention to the description of the creation story of man and his God-given purpose. It is only when we understand our purpose that we can fulfill God’s directives.