7 Jehovah God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.
8 And Jehovah God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there He put the man whom He had formed.
27 The spirit of man is the lamp of Jehovah, / Searching all the innermost parts of the inner being.
To Form Man’s Body with the Dust of the Ground
God created man exactly like a bottle with a neck and a mouth. Praise the Lord that I have a mouth! How could I live without one? God made me this way.
God formed man’s body with the dust of the ground that man may have a body as his outward expression and as an organ to contact material things. God made man with dust, not with gold. Gold cannot produce life. If you sow seed into gold, you will waste the seed. Dust, however, can grow life. If you sow seed into the dust, the seed will grow. We are not a man of gold, but a man of dust. I am happy to be a man of dust. I am an earthen vessel. Hallelujah!
Our body was formed out of dust to be our outward expression. When I have the time, I like to look at myself in the mirror, especially examining my face. The more I look at myself, the more I am convinced that I was made by God. No other person in the whole universe can fashion such a wonderful creature. The style of American cars may be improved and changed every year, but no one can improve the design of a human being. Our ears have been perfectly designed for listening. How awkward it would be if the members of our body were relocated! What would happen if our nose were placed upon our forehead and turned upward? The rain and the dust would come in. God purposely designed the nose to be turned downward that only air may enter in. Although my nose is not very attractive, I am still fond of it. God designed it for me.
Man was created by God. He was designed by the best artist. Do not pay attention to the theory of evolution. Even medical science can confirm that the human body contains all the elements found in dust such as salt, sulfur, copper, and iron. God formed a wonderful human body out of this dust. I have no words to describe it. Look at yourself. Look at your shoulders, arms, and the five fingers on each hand. With the four fingers and a thumb man can do anything. What could we do if we had five thumbs on each hand? We could not even pick up our eating utensils. If you examine your human body, you will find that it is a living bottle. We were truly made by God.
To Breathe into Man’s Nostrils the Breath of Life
In Hebrew the word breath in Genesis 2:7 is neshamah, which is translated “spirit” in Proverbs 20:27. This means that the breath in Genesis 2:7 is the human spirit, and this spirit is the lamp of the Lord. In ancient times people used oil lamps. The lamp contained oil which was burned to give light. Within us we have a lamp to contain the Spirit of God as the oil. Although we have such a lamp within us, we need the divine oil to come into it, enabling the lamp to burn and shine. Proverbs 20:27 says that the spirit of man searches all the inward parts of our being. When God as oil comes in to ignite our lamp, we will be enlightened and searched. The Bible tells us clearly that the breath of God has become our human spirit and that our spirit is God’s lamp to contain God as the oil and to give us light.
The spirit of man was specifically formed by God (Zech. 12:1; Job 32:8). Zechariah 12:1 says that God stretched forth the heavens, laid the foundation of the earth, and formed the spirit of man within him. In this universe are three equally important things: the heavens, the earth, and the spirit of man. The heavens are for the earth, the earth is for man, and man has a spirit for God. God created the heavens for the earth. Without the heavens the earth cannot grow anything. The earth is for man, and man has a spirit within him to contain God. Thus, man is the center of the entire universe, and the center of man is his spirit. This is very important. As far as God is concerned, if there were no spirit within man, man would be an empty shell. If there were no man on this earth, the earth would be a void and the heavens useless. We praise the Lord that the heavens serve the earth, the earth serves man, and man has a spirit to receive God. Praise the Lord that “there is a spirit in man”!
The spirit of man is where the Spirit of God works. Romans 8:16 says that the Spirit of God witnesses with our spirit. Therefore, the Holy Spirit works with the human spirit. Second Timothy 4:22 says, “The Lord be with your spirit.” The Lord Jesus is now with our spirit. This is where He dwells.
To Make Man a Living Soul
God made man a living soul that man may have a soul as his person with his personality and as an organ to contact the psychological realm. In between our outward body and our inward spirit is our soul, our person. By means of the soul we contact psychological things. I have previously mentioned some physical things and some spiritual things; now I want to speak about psychological things. Take the example of joy. Joy is neither material nor spiritual—it is psychological. If you come to me and find that I am unhappy with you, how will you know that I am unhappy? You will know by means of your soul, your psychological part. It is very clear that God has made us in three parts with a spirit, a soul, and a body.
To Make Man a Tripartite Being
For the sake of the young people I want to use an illustration. Suppose you are a poor man. You endeavor to earn money, primarily to satisfy your physical needs. Eventually you acquire a good house, fine food, excellent clothing, and the best transportation. Once your physical needs have been met, you begin to desire music, sports, and amusements. These gratify the psychological needs of your soul. Although you can afford every amusement, as you sit alone in your home at night you have the sense that deep within you are empty. You still need something. You tell yourself, “You have everything. What more do you want? You have a car, a fine home, a good wife and children, every amusement and entertainment.” Nevertheless, deep within you something says, “I still have a need.” Deep within you something is demanding, requiring, and even begging. What is this? It is your spirit. This part of your being, your spirit, needs God.
We have three kinds of needs—material needs, psychological needs, and spiritual needs—because we have three parts to our being. In human society, people take care of the first two needs and neglect the third. This is why the church is here, for only the church can help people to satisfy the third need. Although you may have the finest material enjoyment and the best psychological satisfaction, you are still short. You need spiritual enjoyment, you need God. You need to be satisfied deep within. Since I have been satisfied within, I do not care very much about a car or a house. My spirit is satisfied with God, for my spirit was made to contain Him.
Life Study of Genesis, Chapter 10, W. Lee
- Are you happy to be a man of dust?
- Has every human being received the breath of life?