Throughout the creation story in Genesis 1, we are repeatedly told that “God said.” Each time, the words that He spoke produced the specific results for which they were given. But the creation account of mankind, as it is told in Genesis 2:7, is different. It says this:
—the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, making him a living being.
According to an online Strong’s concordance, the Hebrew word translating as breath is neshamah, meaning “puff i.e. Wind, angry or vital breath, divine inspiration…” It comes from the root word nasham: “gasp;… properly, to blow away, i.e. Destroy – destroy.”
When God puffed His life into man, it was indeed vital—necessary to man’s existence. But “blow away… destroy?” What could life have possibly destroyed?
Consider this: When God created the physical universe, including mankind, a rebellion against God already existed in the spiritual realm. Angelic beings, who had been made to serve and worship God, weren’t. Instead they were attempting to bask in their own prideful wrong thinking, glorifying themselves. When God breathed His life into mankind, the act was one of ultimate giving that set a course of action that would ultimately prove righteousness to be powerfully and eternally triumphant over all evil, no matter what its form.
The moment man first received life from God, the eternal existence of Jesus already assured the everlasting continuation of that life by Jesus’ willingness to give His own. The right doing that flows eternally from the right relationship of Jesus with the Father would be the overcoming factor that puts every evil out of sight forever by putting everything beneath the feet of Jesus (see 1 Corinthians 15:25-27).
By God choosing to breathe life (His Spirit) into mankind twice (once in the Garden Creation and again in rebirth through Jesus), not only did He make His good life doubly available, but He also certified the everlasting quality of that life that is self-defined by its resurrection power in Jesus. Then, in choosing to share even greater abundance of the good life that comes from God, the Holy Spirit came to Earth to dwell in those who would willingly accept God’s Gift of everlasting life in Jesus. The life-giving Presence of God within reborn men and women would be phenomenal, giving unprecedented assurance of God’s goodness to all.
So, as life is given only by means of God’s free will decision to share the good life that self-exists in Him, men and women who rightly choose to trust God must have faith in Jesus. The goodness of God that Jesus clearly reveals is always aboveboard for all to personally fully see and believe. Thereby the underhanded deceptiveness of evil is overcome with forthright Truth.
With one good breath, God put an end to heavenly beings who had once stood face to face with Him and had yet wrongly denied His goodness that they had personally witnessed. And He did so in the most righteous way: by the right believing of men and women who had not personally seen God, but had faith in the One and Only Man who knew God the Father firsthand: Jesus.
That is divinely inspired justice, is it not? Now, every time that we who have been made alive in Christ Jesus rightly speak forth God’s words, our exhale shares a little more of the God-given life that is in us with others. In choosing to freely give as we have been given, we further extend God’s goodness, doing further good for all. Every time that we speak the Truth of God’s good grace into any situation, we put a little more of evil’s rebelliousness in its right place: beneath the feet of Jesus.
God’s neshamah chayyim—divinely inspired “breath of life”—is eternally that. The gasp associated with it, according to the definition at the beginning of this piece, is undoubtedly no less than the sound made by individuals who suddenly realize the enormity of the grace and Truth of God that Jesus reveals. Former wrong thinking is blown away, destroying a little more evil in the process. And God accomplishes it all His way—the right way: through right belief in the goodness of God.
Who but God would ever have rightly thought that all out?