God Giving Himself.
Here in this Genesis story the creation of the whole sun-system to give life to the earth, and of the earth itself, was the outward beginning of this greatest passion of love in the heart of God. And if you would know more of that love in this early stage of it, just look a bit at the home itself. It has been pretty badly mussed, soiled and hurt by sin's foul touch. Yet even so it is a wonder of a world in its beauty and fruitfulness. What must it have been before the slime and tangle of sin got in! But that's a whole story by itself. We must not stop there just now.

When the home was ready God set Himself to bringing the new life He was planning. And He did it, even as father and mother of our human kind and of every other kind do: -- He gave some of Himself. He breathed into man His own life-breath. He came Himself, and with the warmth and vitality of His life brought a new life. The new life was a bit of Himself.

That phrase, "breathed into his nostrils," brings to us the conception of the closest personal, physical contact; two together in most intimate contact, and life passing from one to the other. The picture of Elijah stretching his warm body upon that of the widow's son until the life-breath came again comes instinctively to mind. And its companion scene comes with it, of Elisha lying prone upon the child, mouth to mouth, eye to eye, hand to hand, until the breath again softly reentered that little, precious body.

And if all this seems too plain and homely a way to talk about the great God, let us remember it is the way of this blessed old Book. It is the only way we shall come to know the marvellous intimacy and tenderness of God's love, and of God's touch upon ourselves.

How shall we talk best about God so as to get clear, sensible ideas about Him? Why not follow the rule of the old Bible? Can we do better? It constantly speaks of Him in the language that we use of men. The scholars, with their fondness for big words, say the Bible is anthropomorphic. That simply means that it uses man's words, and man's ideas of things in telling about God. It makes use of the common words and ideas, that man understands fully, to tell about the God, whom he doesn't know. Could there be a more sensible way? Indeed, how else could man understand?

Some dear, godly people have sometimes been afraid of the use of simple, homely language in talking about God. To speak of Him in the common language of every-day life, the common talk of home and kitchen, and shop and street and trade, seems to them lacking in due reverence. Do they forget that this is the language of the common people? And of our good old Anglo-Saxon Bible? Has anybody ever yet used as blunt homely, talk as this old Book uses? And has any other book stuck into people's memories and hearts with such burr-like hold as it has?

That breathing by God into man's nostrils of the breath of life suggests the intensest concentration of strength and thought and heart. The whole heart of God went out to man in that breath that brought life.

the genesis picture
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