by James J. S. Johnson, J.D., Th.D.

God likes variety—more variety than we can fully appreciate, even if we had multiple lifetimes to investigate His creation! Here are two proofs: 1) Scripture shows that variety matches God’s divine nature and how He made mankind in His own image, and 2) God’s physical non-human creation shows that God supernaturally selected and favors variety.

Nature displays differences in details of diverse animals, plants, microorganisms, earth’s geophysical environment, and even the innumerable galaxies of outer space.

Being Made in God’s Image Includes Appreciating Variety

Our first clue that God values variety is the Bible’s first verse: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

As noted in previous articles, the Hebrew subject noun translated “God” (Elohîm) is plural, yet its action verb, “created” (bara’), is singular1—our first indication that the Creator-God of the Bible is a plural-yet-one Being. Thus, variety is actually part of God’s plural-yet-one essence! No wonder God appreciates variety—it is part of His divine nature!

Unsurprisingly, God designed variety into humanity when God chose to make Adam and Eve in His own image. The first diversity among humans was the dichotomy of male and female:

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:27)

But the diversity God designed for humanity goes far beyond gender. People belong to different tribes, nations, and genetic-ethnic groups. These varied backgrounds are defined and recognized by myriads of details, including language and appearance, setting the stage for a choir of redeemed humans, selected from multifarious people-groups:

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation. (Revelation 5:9)….

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