7 Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Man from the ground. In Hebrew, the adam from the adamah. ‘Man’ is composed of dust…and what makes him live is breath. A gentle opposite here, making us think of the dust our bodies eventually become in death, and the loss of breath that death entails. We stop breathing, we turn to dust.
Here in the beginning, we are made from dust, we start breathing. Breath means life. The man became a living being.
It’s an intimate verse, speaking of Yahweh as the one who forms the man – more picture language here – a creator moulding something extraordinary from dust and then breathing into it. I love the imagery used here. I feel called to watch as he does something incredible with the substance of the ground itself, forming a new creature, and himself giving this creature life.
Here is a picture of a creator who is intimately involved in creation, deliberate and purposeful in creating the adam – the human being who becomes a living being. For me this verse evokes a tender and focused act. No randomness or off-handedness.
…the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.