Last time we looked at Gen 1:26 as support for the trinitarian position. There is only one other place in Torah where God speaks of Himself using the plural pronouns that I am aware:
But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the LORD said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” Gen 11:5-7
I personally do not think it a coincidence that this is the only other place in Torah where the Lord speaks of Himself this way. This is the common theme teaching tool of Scripture, revealing to us that this passage is meant to be studied more closely in connection with Gen 1:26:
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Gen 1:26
In Gen 1:26, man is made in the image of God, and in Gen 11:5-7, mankind is one, echad, the same word in Hebrew that we found in Deu 6:4 proclaiming that YHVH is one. Now keep these passages on the back burner, for we have to take a little bunny trail and come back to them.
There is another teaching tool of Scripture which I have not written about previously, and that is the tool of natural pictures. Jesus made heavy use of this tool by teaching us many things about spiritual truths using parables. He often began a parable by saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like …” and then proceeded to tell a story about seeds, crops, harvests, landowners, fathers and sons, or some other aspect of normal human existence or the natural world with which His audience was well aware. That picture in the natural world was meant to teach us something about the spiritual world or God or the kingdom of heaven that we might not otherwise understand.
God created families, for example; marriage and procreation and children were all His idea. He could have designed human reproduction any way He wished, but He designed marriages of husbands and wives; He designed families with parents and children, so that when He later revealed Himself as our Husband (Isa 54:5) or as our Father (Isa 63:16), we could understand the intensity of the love and the depth of commitment He had for us. This is the teaching tool of natural pictures. Something in the natural world, with which we are well familiar, teaches us something about the spiritual world which we cannot see, or about God whom we cannot see.
Back to Gen 1:26 and Gen 11:5-7. The natural picture in this case, is man. God created man in His own image. By seeing and understanding man as a natural picture, we can better see and understand something about God that we could not otherwise see and understand. So what does the natural picture of man teach us?