Genesis 2:4-7 - The First Man: Adam
his is the summit of God’s creation, the phenomenal creation of man. God took two things and made man: the dust of the ground and His own breath of life. He formed Adam out of the dust of the ground, and He breathed His own breath into the nostrils of Adam. Thus the believer knows a wonderful truth: he has been made by God Himself, by the Sovereign Lord and Majesty of the universe.
As the Psalmist says, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).
When we study and meditate upon the teachings of Scripture, we are able to say with Elihu, "But it is a spirit in man, And the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding…" "The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life…” "Behold, I belong to God like you; I too have been formed out of the clay.” (Job 32:8; 33:4, 6)
A. The Forming of Man (v.7a).
1. “The LORD God formed man…” (v.7a).
a) Three significant facts are being stated in this declaration.
(1) God and God alone formed man – Man was not formed by impersonal forces nor did he just appear out of nothing, nor did he evolve from other creatures that had come out of nothing.
(a) Impersonal forces did not form man: not cells, not DNA, not atoms, not molecules, not hydrogen, not protons, not neutrons, not electrons.
(b) But note: all these substances are a part of man; they are what constitute and make up the body and physical life of man. However the basic substances are not what formed man.
(c) The energy and power that formed man is the Supreme Intelligence of the universe, the LORD God of the universe. The LORD God formed man. The LORD God created the substances and then He took the substances and used them to create man.
(2) God “formed” (yatsar) man – The word “formed” means to mold, to shape, to form. It is the picture of a potter who has an image in his mind that he wants to create.
(a) Note: the potter has the idea of what he wants to create, and he has both the intelligence and power to form his creation. So it was with God. God is the Master Craftsman who had the idea of man within His mind.
(b) God also had both the intelligence and power to create man, both the omniscience (all knowledge) and omnipotence (all power) to do what He wanted. God wanted to create man; therefore, God formed, molded and shaped man just as a potter would his clay.
The Psalmist puts it this way: "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet," (Psalm 8:3-6, NASB95)
Psalm 139 says "I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;" (Psalm 139:14-15)
And we read in Job 7, he asked the question "What is man that You magnify him, And that You are concerned about him, That You examine him every morning And try him every moment?" (Job 7:17-18, NASB95)
(3) It was the LORD God—Jehovah Elohim—who formed man – This is the personal name of God, the name that stresses...
(a) When this name—the LORD God—is used, God’s personal relationship with man is being stressed. God Himself was personally involved in the creation of man.
(b) There was to be a personal relationship, a close bond, between God and man forever. The LORD God—was to stand before man as man’s Lord. Man was to be the subject of God forever and ever.
b) God created man to know Him, to worship Him, and to serve Him.
(1) God created man to know Him (Psalm 100:3).
We read in Isaiah that "Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made." (Isaiah 43:7, NASB95)
We are to know and believe that He is who He says He is: "You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me." (Isaiah 43:10, NASB95)
And if you want to boast in something "Let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 9:24, NASB95)
Jesus prayed to the Father saying "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3, NASB95)
(2) God created man to worship Him (Psalm 95:6).
We are to "Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth." (Psalm 96:9)
Jesus said that "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24)
During the tribulation period, and angel flying in the midst of heaven cries out saying: “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.”" (Revelation 14:7, NASB95)
(3) God created man to serve Him (Genesis 1:26-28).
Have you ever wanted to minister to God? "My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; He who walks in a blameless way is the one who will minister to me." (Psalm 101:6)
Jesus said "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth." (Matthew 6:24, NASB95)
Being raised from the dead and having "been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.” (Romans 7:6)
Here is a promise from God if we serve Him: "If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.” (John 12:26, NASB95)
B. The Way Man was Formed (v.7b).
1. “Man was formed from the dust of the ground…” (v.7b).
a) The material that was used to form man – dust of the earth, dirt.
(1) Our mother’s womb which we came out of is figuratively called “lowest parts”:
The Psalmist makes reference to this by saying "My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;" (Psalm 139:15, NASB95)
(2) Our bodies are called houses of clay and our foundations are said to be in the earth:
Job says "How much more those who dwell in houses of clay, Whose foundation is in the dust, Who are crushed before the moth!” (Job 4:19, NASB95)
(3) “Our fabric [flesh, body] is earthly, and the fashioning of it like that of an earthen vessel.”
We read again in Job 10 "‘Remember now, that You have made me as clay; And would You turn me into dust again?” (Job 10:9, NASB95)
(4) “Our food is out of the earth:”
Again, Job says that from the earth "comes food, And underneath it is turned up as fire.” (Job 28:5)
(5) Our bodies decay and corrupt and are eaten by the worms of the earth.
Again we read in Job 17 "If I call to the pit, ‘You are my father’; To the worm, ‘my mother and my sister" (Job 17:14, NASB95)
!!!! b) Our fathers are of the earth; our final destiny is of the earth, what do we have to be proud of?
(1) Nothing, absolutely nothing, for we are made of nothing more than a handful of dust. From dust we have come, and to dust we shall return. Before we know it, our bodies will be nothing more than dust lying someplace within the ground of the earth.
(2) The Point is this: we come from the humblest of beginnings. Our origin is that of dust & dirt and our bodies are fragile and frail.
(a) So, no matter how much glory and dignity we achieve upon earth, we shall soon be nothing more than a handful of dust. Therefore, we must walk humbly before God.
(b) We must depend upon God to give us a body that will never age or pass away, a body that will never die, but that will live forever (John 3:16):
Speaking about eternal life, Jesus said "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life…” He goes on to say "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth— those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” (John 5:24, 28-29, NKJV)
Peter says "having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever," (1 Peter 1:23, NKJV)
(3) Every person is made of the same substance, of the dust of the ground. No person has any more value or worth than any other person. All come from dust and all shall return to dust.
(a) that no person is above another person.
(b) that no person is worth more than any other person.
(c) that no person has any right to put any other person down.
(d) There is no place for pride, prejudice, discrimination, jealousy, enslavement, partiality, or favoritism among people (James 2:4; 4:12).
The writer of Proverbs says "These things also belong to the wise: It is not good to show partiality in judgment." (Proverbs 24:23, NKJV)
C. The Life That Man Was Given (v.7c).
1. God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life…” (v.7c).
a) God has given man His very own breath.
(1) What is the breath of God? What is there about God’s breath that caused God to breathe His own breath into man? The breath of God is at least two things:
(a) The breath of God is the Spirit of God – This is seen in the Hebrew word for spirit, ruach. The word ruach means wind, breath, air, spirit.
(i) When God breathed into the nostrils of Adam, He was not just breathing air into Adam’s lungs so that Adam could live.
(ii) If this was all God was doing He could have simply spoken the word and caused Adam to become a living soul just like He did when He created the animals.
(iii) God has connected Himself to man in the most intimate way possible. God has put within man His very own Spirit.
(b) The breath of God is the life of God – When God breathed into man, God gave His very own life to man. What is the life of God?
(i) It is life that lives on and on, the life of eternity, the power to live eternally. God’s breath is not temporal; God’s breath lives forever.
(ii) God’s breath never ceases to exist. Therefore, man was to breathe and live forever; man was to live eternally with God.
!!!! b) God made no other creature like He made man.
(1) God gave no other creature His breath, neither His Spirit nor His life of immortality. This makes man’s creation distinctive, of the highest order and being, of the highest honor and glory, of the highest worth and value.
Job said "The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life." (Job 33:4)
Remember when Jesus said to the disciples "Peace be with you, as the Father has sent Me, I also send you, And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:22, NKJV)
Remember when King Belshazzar wanted Daniel to interpret the writing on the wall and Daniel said to him "And you have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven. They have brought the vessels of His house before you, and you and your lords, your wives and your concubines, have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, which do not see or hear or know; and the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified." (Daniel 5:23, NKJV)
c) The glory and humility of man.
(1) There is a sense in which man is a paradox (A seemingly contradictory statement that may nonetheless be true):
(a) He was created with all the dignity and honor possible—created by the hand of God and given the very breath of God.
(b) Yet, he was also created out of the most base and lowly stuff of all: dirt. In one sense man has every reason to glory; in another sense he has every reason to be humble.
(c) What should be man’s attitude?
(i) Man is to worship and glory in God – that God gave him life and the dignity and honor (privilege) of life.
The Lord says in Jeremiah "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord." (Jeremiah 9:23-24, NKJV)
(ii) Man is to walk humbly before God – and before men, for God has made all men from the same material, from the dust of the earth itself.
Micah 6:8 says "He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:8, NKJV)
(iii) Man is to present himself, all that he is to God –
Romans 12 says because of "the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1, NKJV)
And we are to glorify God in our bodies "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s." (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NKJV)
!! D. The Living Soul Man Became (v.7d).
1. Man became a living being (v.7d).
a) The creature that possesses both soul and spirit.
(1) Remember: the word “being” is literally “soul” (nephesh) and means an animated, breathing, conscious, and living being. It does not mean the spirit of man.
(a) God had just breathed His Spirit and life into man. Once God did this, man became a living soul—an animated, breathing, conscious, and living creature. He was a living soul just like all the other creatures of earth.
(b) However, there was one distinctive difference between the animals and man: man was given the very breath of God Himself, the very Spirit and life of God.
(i) This means that man is both a spiritual & soulish or animate being.
(ii) This means that animals are only living souls and non-spiritual creatures.
(2) Why has God given His own breath, His own spirit and life to man?
(a) I believe that answer is so that man can freely choose to worship and love God.
When the Lord tells his people that they will act corruptly and do evil in His sight, He will scatter them "But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul." (Deuteronomy 4:29, NASB95)
The Psalmist say to "Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually.” (Psalm 105:4, NASB95)
And Isaiah says to "Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.” (Isaiah 55:6, NASB95)