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Breath of Life: The First Breath

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” - Genesis 1:1–2 NIV

Did you know that there are more stars in the universe than all the grains of sand on Earth’s beaches?

Recently the Hubble telescope was pointed for days into what astronomists call “an empty black patch of nothingness.” As they looked at the dark void of space, the scientists discovered hundreds of billions of never-before-seen galaxies! Inside a typical galaxy, like the Milky Way, is an estimated one hundred billion stars.

The discovery led astronomists to update their estimate of galaxies in the universe from one hundred seventy billion to two trillion. Not two trillion stars, but two trillion galaxies, each with billions of stars and numerous moons, planets, and heavenly bodies inside of them.

What an unfathomably awesome creation! But this is far from the most startling revelation.

In Scripture, you can almost breeze over the immensity of God’s creativity, because the writers of Genesis, Job and the Psalms state these parts of the creation in such a matter-of-fact way: “It was all made by the breath of His mouth” (Ps. 33:6).

The wonder of our universe, the planets, heavens, and stars will continue to baffle scientists year after year as they unpack more of their mystery. Yet, the universe in all its extravagance, is not the part of creation to be most marveled at. The Creation account in Genesis reveals an even more stunning creation that God was to reveal: humanity.

God breathed Adam’s soul into existence. And it was no ordinary breath. This breath was an impartation of His living self into humanity. 

“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.” - Genesis 2:7 NIV

Every breath we take, in every waking and sleeping moment of our lives, was initiated by the first breath of God into Adam in the garden. When God gave Adam his first breath, He shaped humanity with the power of His presence and His Spirit.

Stop where you are to imagine that moment. How God shaped the clay into the form of a man and breathed His own life-giving Spirit into Adam. Don’t you wish the moment was captured for us to see? What did Adam see when he first opened his eyes and what did he say after that first breath?

The English name of Yahweh, which is believed to be the most accurate pronunciation of God’s name, comes from the four characters in Hebrew, YHWH, which in English we translate to Yahweh.

And here is the mystery: the Name of God is breath itself! The first gift and impartation from the Living God to make a living man was His name. God’s name literally imparts life to our spirits.

Try this: Say the word Yahweh out loud. Start by taking a deep inhale: YAH (pronounced yaah). Next, exhale: WEH (pronounced weigh). Do you see it?

We breathe the breath of God!

Have you ever considered that every breath taken by humanity became automated in that very moment? Every breath each person in the world breathes, from the moment they’re born until their final breath, was initiated in the garden.

Every breath, ever, is an utterance of your Creator’s name!

When Adam began to breathe, humanity began to bear God’s image. To bear the image of God means to have a living soul, breathed or gifted to you by a living God. As you continue to breathe, your very existence remains tied to the Creator of breath.

You are a living soul made in God’s image. Sustained by His Spirit and Breath. Is there a more powerful truth than this to ponder for ourselves?