“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7

Human life, your human life, is a precious thing! Life is good! Human life is opportunity. Human life is a gift. Human life is sacred. Human life has immeasurable value. Human life is special. It is so special that it almost defies definition.

Life is hard to define, apparently. You would think that with all of human lives that have passed over this earth, and all the wisdom that has been gained by the generations, that there would be a more striking definition to be found than “that property which animates.” Even Webster simply relies on Scriptural truth by saying, “In animals, animation; vitality; and in man, that state of being in which the soul and body are united.” Of course, Webster’s definition is accurate; Paul declares in 2 Corinthians 5:8, “absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”

Our text proves the fact that human life is unique compared to all other created life. God took extreme pains to identify that your life is significant. The first thing to observe is that Jehovah God did the work. He reveals His nature in the name by which He chooses to reveal Himself. Jehovah is the name of the Covenant-Keeping God of Israel and reveals His self-sufficiency. In other words, we learn who our Creator is and we learn our relationship to Him. Creator means Owner, Designer, Inventor, Director, Utilizer, Repairer, and Reviewer.

God worked the creation of mankind differently than He worked the rest of creation. He spoke the world into existence, He spoke the land, sea, and sky into existence. He spoke the plants, the fish, the insects, and the animals into existence. But He reveals He took a different level of involvement into the forming of the first man.

This fact alone should settle the reality that human life is not only different than all other forms of life, but it is also superior to the plant and the animal kingdom. The common undertone in our society seems intent upon making mankind think he is an interloper, inferior to other forms of life, and that if he would just get out of the way this planet might survive. Companies go to great lengths to tell you they have not tested their products on animals. The statement leaves the impression that it is more virtuous to test their products out on humans! Every human life, born and unborn, is sacred.

No matter what level of guilt our culture may intend to overburden you, God sees your life as more important than the life of plants and animals. Our Lord speaks plainly in Matthew 6:26: “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” In verses 28ff, Jesus compares human life to the plant kingdom: “Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” God sets our priority straight and distinguishes the fact that man has a very personal relationship with, and obligation to, His Creator.

This personal relationship is defined in the detail of man’s creation. Genesis 2:7 states that God formed man out of the dust. The Hebrew word signifies a personal operation, like a potter at work. There is something about craftsmanship and artistry as well as the attention and intention of God. As a sharer in this life, and as a recipient of a human body, you know the miracle that this body really is. It is a sign of immaturity that one must be taught to be thankful for what one has. But if you know Christ, you certainly have a deep sense of appreciation for the Creator stooping to touch and manipulate the dust, forming the first man and bestowing the gift of life. You know what the Creator did in stooping to touch your sinful dust, and powerfully work the miracle of making you a brand new creation, at the very moment you trusted Christ and were saved (2 Corinthians 5:17ff).

It was dust that God had to work with in creating the first man. The Hebrew word for man means red dirt. It is not what God made man out of that makes him valuable. Rather, what makes man valuable is how God instilled life in man. Our text says, “God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” Actually, the original says, “breath of lives.” It is both an indicator of intense vitality as well as a hint at the fact that man is not just a physical being, but he has a living soul. No animal on this earth shares the same trait—only man. Man is designed to live on beyond death—eternally.

The fact that God breathed life into the first man means, at the very least, that your life directly descends from God’s gift and is His gift to you. You share in the gift of life. It is an opportunity. It is sacred. It is a stewardship for which you will give account to the Lord of Life (1 Corinthians 3:9ff). No matter how difficult this life on earth may be, never lose your awe of God’s gift, God’s craftsmanship, and God’s sovereign care for you (Ephesians 2:8–10, Philippians 1:6). Trust and obey.