the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7.
Have you ever tried to create something living out of a ball of clay? How about a jar of sand? Not happening, right? And yet, plants grow in some of the harshest soil conditions. Not to mention, He made you out of a pile of dirt. How did God do that? While I don’t profess to know how God formed man from dust, He does teach us about Himself through His creation. He does give us clues.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
Life inside of life
There are a large number of bacteria and fungi living in the soil and that is where most of them are found. God made bacteria and fungi and, according to a recent study, there are about the same number of bacterial cells in our bodies as there are human cells. I find that both disturbing and amazing. When God formed us, he must’ve included bacteria in the mix. They live on our skin, in our intestines, and in our mouths. They are essential in keeping us healthy by helping us digest our food, providing minerals and vitamins, and after the fall, defending us from disease. We literally cannot live without them and neither can any other creature. That is why God made soil before animals and humans, that is why in Genesis 2:19, we read Now the Lord God formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air.
But, there is more to soil than just bacteria and fungi. Imagine what dirt would look like if it was just microorganisms. A pile of jelly?
For dust you are and to dust you will return
The other components of dirt are decaying matter, waste, and minerals. If there was no death before the fall, where did decaying matter come from? There were trees, fruits, and green plants. Half-eaten fruit and other plant material decays, doesn’t it? Animals and humans would produce waste, too. But God made soil before there were animals and humans to provide these components. So how might He have done this? All living things are made from one element, the same element that is also necessary to make soil. That element is carbon. God made soil from carbon before he made animals and humans. The bacteria and the carbon were magnetically attracted to minerals, producing soil, a very rich, dark soil.
And then, God formed man from the dust of the ground with His own hands and breathed his own breath into us. We are the only creature with God’s own breath! His own breath! Can you believe it? And he said that we, His creation, were very good—a gorgeous pile of dirt.
A gorgeous pile of dirt that is completely dependent on organisms that bring both life and death. A gorgeous pile of dirt that is made from an element blacker than night but that also brings forth brilliant white diamonds. We will talk more about this next week.