Personally, I find this is one of the most powerful and loving images in all the Bible. When I read God’s Word, I hear love. Sometimes it is tough love. Sometimes it seems the opposite. But if I take the Bible as a whole, I hear, read, and feel God’s love. It isn’t about punishment or anger or destruction – but about love. This particular passage is in the second chapter of the first book. It is a story most of us have heard. I try to talk about it a lot as well. For me, though, this scripture speaks of just how much God loves and cares for us. It tells me of his careful, loving, creative hands finding joy in his creation.
In Genesis 2, we are told of God making the earth and heavens. We are told of the plants and garden. But those are stated matter-of-fact as created. But when he came to humanity, there was an intention. There was a special effort to create. And it fills our lungs with good things – literally. We read that the Lord God formed humanity from the dust of the ground. In our mind’s eye, we can just see the formation, the careful construction of something beautiful. We can see the precision and attention in every detail. We are, after all, made in the image of God. So this was no quick, rush job. This was one of his greatest creations and it was good. After he forms humanity from the dust, he breathes life into the nose. Think about that for just a moment. Think about God’s very breath entering the nose, lungs and being of creation. God breathes life. God’s very breath gives life to humanity. Now that is amazing.
The beauty is that he continues to do so. He is still filling our lungs with good things. He is still breathing life into his good creation. He is still making, remaking, shaping, forming and making all things new. He created me and you. He loves us. He took careful attention with us. We are his creation. We have his breath which gives us life.
You are no mistake. You are no failure. You are a beautiful, wonderful, God-breathed creation. You are sculpted and formed into good. So rise up, beautiful ones. We have work to do.
In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, 5 when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground; 6 but a stream would rise from the earth, and water the whole face of the ground— 7 then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
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