Happy New Year! Every January I begin the same way: nestled on the couch with my cup of coffee I begin reading in Genesis. Creation. New beginnings. Something from nothing. I like that. Makes me hopeful.
God creates heaven and earth, sun and moon, time, mountains, oceans, plants, sea creatures, birds, and animals. “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)
It might have been the flavored coffee, but for some reason I read and re-read every word as if to sip and savor. “God – breathed – into – Adam’s – nostrils – the – breath – of – life, – and – the – man – became – a – living – being.”
I read back over chapter 1 and previous verses in chapter 2…. God said: “let there be light” and there was light; God said, “Let there be birds of the air and fish in the sea “… birds flew in the air and fish swam in the sea. God spoke and it happened. Bam! It is not recorded that God ‘breathed’ into anything the first 5 days of creation. Why would God breath into man?
Picture God, creator of the universe (and everything in it) hovering over lifeless Adam and breathing life, newness, time into him. Why didn’t God just say, “Let there be man”? Why didn’t God just blow air over Adam’s body? That surely would have been sufficient. Why breath air INto Adam? To pour His life uniquely into his, I get that. But why Adam’s nostrils? (Ok I know my thought patterns are bizarre.) There must be a specific reason why the nostrils.
Fixated on the image of God bending over Adam breathing into his nose….it struck me. Adam’s very first smell …. the breath of God.
Scientist say that of the five senses, smell evokes memories in such a powerful way that we are instantly transported back to an experience ….. good or bad. I mean, think about it. What are some smells that just “take you back…”
Could it be that God breathed into Adam’s nostrils that day to instill a fragrance of Himself? So that when Adam encountered certain fragrances, it would remind him of God, the very God who created him?
Can you imagine your first smell being the breath of God Himself? I chuckled out loud …. I wonder what God smells like? “God I want to smell you today.” Crazy, huh? Today I declare myself a “God sniffer”!
Want to join me?