What is Man?

Genesis 2:4-6 Before Man  Here we have a summary of days one to five. Why? Perhaps the comment that there was “no man to work the ground” is significant. After all, the heavens and the earth were no created as a “stand-alone”. God’s purpose for the heavens and the earth relates to man. He made both for us. Let’s not forget that the heavens were also made for man. This does not simply mean that we could explore the heavens as modern space programs advocate. No. According to the Scriptures, we have been promised a home in the heavens!
The comment about the bushes and plants, lack of rain, and mist watering the whole face of the earth gives us a better understanding of God the Gardner described in Day Three. In that Day God planted the seed. It seems that the seed needed to be cultivated and grow. What does this do regarding our understanding of creation? The earth before man was barren.
       Why bring it up at this point? The point may be that man is necessary to the land, not just an adjunct. This is a God-given arrangement. Question - Would God have made the earth if He did not have man in mind?
       Calvin hints that it did not occur in “a moment”. Rightly so. Please note - the rain did not come because of “natural forces” but “the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land”. I like that. I think that God still causes it to rain although, of course, He uses natural forces. People have called this growth, evolution. I submit that that is a wrong designation and unscientific since it completely ignores God’s hand in nature.

Genesis 2:7 God did the work of creation in the first six days. The LORD GOD does the work of creation related to man on the sixth day. The combination of the name of God is introduced in Genesis 2. He is the Creator. (2:4) He is the One related to man. (2:5) He is Elohim = God. He is Yahweh = The personal redeemer and Lord. (Exodus 3:15) God has a special relationship to man that is different from all the rest of His creation.
                Please note that the LORD GOD “formed” man. This is a potter’s term when he takes the clay and begins to mold it into the piece he desires. The action continues indicating the substance God used - the dust of the ground. Genesis 3:19 reinforces this origin by telling us that man will return to dust when death conquers him. A Bible dictionary tells us that the term “dust” is used literally and in similes to express: multitude (Gn. 13:16; Is. 29:5); smallness (Dt. 9:21; 2 Ki. 13:7); poverty (1 Sa. 2:8); abasement (Gn. 18:27) (Ashes); dust on the head as a sign of sorrow (Jb. 2:12; Rev. 18:19); contrition (Jos. 7:6). Physical scientists define the term “earth” as composed mostly of iron (32.1%), oxygen (30.1%), silicon (15.1%), magnesium (13.9%), sulfur (2.9%), nickel (1.8%), calcium (1.5%), and aluminum (1.4%), with the remaining 1.2% consisting of trace amounts of other elements.
       Dust is small amounts of everything. I can’t resist reminding you that God did not make man out of a rock- He used dust. How long did it make the dust? Millions of years? I don’t think so. Actually, this “dust” was only six days old! I think is important to remember that God made man of the earth rather than of the water or the clouds. We are earth-bound!
       God made man. The earth did not make man. A chance combination of chemicals energized by the sun earth heat did not make man. So much for the evolutionary theory of the beginning of man!
       Science has observed that earth is the only astronomical object known to harbor life. This is interesting since the earth is defined by “life” and “life” is a difficult thing for a scientist to define! The bottom line seems to be activity. Not mechanical activity but God driven activity.
       Now we must note that God breathed into man “the breath of life”. What is the breath of life? First, note that it is God’s breath. God is alive. He makes man alive. It is the life and power of God, given to man to animate him. According to Genesis 1:30, it is characteristic of all of God’s living creatures and creations. Then, note that man becomes a living creature (soul). soul = all living creatures, emotions. seat of evil in man (Proverbs 21:10). whole person. lives on after death (Luke 9:25; 12:4;21:19; Rev. 20:4). We could go on to speak of “everlasting life” which is a term explained to us by Jesus (Daniel 12:2; John 3:15).
       Do animals have soul since they are “living”? How does one explain texts that speak of animals having souls (Gen 1:20–21) and spirits (Gen 6:17; 7:15, 22)? Someone has observed that it is to be understood that an animal’s soul and spirit stand in a totally different relationship than man’s soul and spirit. The “soul” of an animal is no more than the abstract, animating principle which is related to blood and brain, i.e., to its body with its divinely pre-programmed, behavioristic animal instincts. Man’s soul is related to his spirit, which comes from God. The “spirit” of an animal is the life principle exhibited in its breathing (the “breath of life”), and is not related to God in any personal sense. Animals had no special handling or a special creative act as did man in the original creation. They were just spoken into existence, and they sprang spontaneously from the elements out of which they were made.
        Ross explains “The Hebrews, however, did not think in terms of a soul apart from the body. Rather, the word (nepeŇ°) “soul,” describes the whole person—the soul in the body, or a human being with all the appetites. The Biblical evidence seems to support the idea that characteristic of soul is “living” and thus “soul” is a characteristic of all living things. Thus one translation (ESV) says “creature” and another (NET) says “soul”. Is there a connection to the “tree of life” in the garden?
Descartes said "I think therefore I am." He was wrong. Man existed before he thought. I have that on good authority - God, the Creator.
       An introductory summary is necessary for this portion of Genesis. I have divided it into five rather unequal parts:
·      Before Man
·      Man formed by God
·      The Garden of God and Man
·      The Command of God to Man
·      The Special Provision of God for Man.
          There are, of course, encyclopedias and libraries devoted to the topic of Man. As we have already noted, the Scriptures are sparse at times. However, don’t forget that the whole of the Bible is about God in His relationship to man. This was/is God’s reason for giving us the Bible in the first place. Ross observes “If the story of creation presented the foundation of the theocracy with the purpose of calling allegiance to the sovereign Creator, the story of the creation of the man and the woman explains that humans have the God-given capacity and responsibility to serve the Lord with integrity.” What follows are the details that God thought were important at the beginning of the chronicle.