The Breath of Life

I’ve been thinking recently about the creation of humanity (Genesis 1 and 2) with a couple questions stirring in my mind:

  • Is our being created from dust similar or analogous to the waters swarming with swarms (Genesis 1:20) teeming with life?
  • Twice God says, “Let the land produce…” (Genesis 1:11, 24)–are these to form the backdrop against which the “Let us make” by which humanity enters the narrative (Genesis 1:26)?  Are they set as contrasting or synonymous pairs?
  • Is there significance to the fact that we have been formed from another part of creation?  Does Eve’s creation from within Adam also bear significance?
  • The animals also appear to have the breath of life in them (Genesis 1:30; 7:22)–is it really accurate for us to say that humanity is specially  for humanity to be filled

Aside from sorting out a few questions related to the telling of humanity’s creation and the avenues we typically see as expressions of our uniqueness (i.e. formed from the dust, having life breathed into us), one thought in particular has stuck in my mind as something I’ve wanted to pass by you.  Here it goes:

Is it possible that man is filled with the breath of life (rather than being spoken in to existence) as another expression of many’s function as God’s vice regent-stewards?  In other words, does God refrain from creating man by a word so that man, newly enlivened by the breath of life, might expel that breath in words of our own as we multiply and fill the earth with God’s image and glory?

What do you think?

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2 Responses to The Breath of Life

  1. A fascinating idea, and one that makes sense of the set-apartness of humans in creation. And I wonder if it ties as well into Acts with Jesus bringing the breath of life to the disciples who then go out and spread it around.

  2. Also, recently read through that section in hebrew. Due to the slower reading pace, I noticed too that man and animal has the breath of life in them. And that comes up again in the flood. Something to ponder.

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