(Dedicated to a close and dear friend of mine who I aspire to be when I grow up!! She is full of wisdom and grace….)
Genesis 2:7 Then ADONAI, God, formed a person [Hebrew: adam] from the dust of the ground [Hebrew: adamah] and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, so that he became a living being. (The Complete Jewish Bible)
That one line says a ton. The Bible is full of one liners that speak volumes. Those who dare are challenged to dig deeper and find the gold in the one liners! Ahhh…..and I love a challenge!
Back to the subject at hand: God doesn’t make junk. It’s cliche, trite, and we have all heard it when we have been down, depressed, feeling worthless, and without hope. When people say it I don’t doubt that the spoken phrase comes from a heart reaching out to offer hope and a helping hand off the proverbial ledge, nonetheless, its use has made it ring hollow in many an ear. At the same time, it is truth….thus Genesis 2:7.
You see, God makes spirits and clothes them in the flesh of humanity. The first human’s name was derived from the earth, the dust from which he was clothed. Once formed from the earth God breathed the breath of life into the dust, and the dust became the person of Adam. Without the breath of life, God’s breath, the dust would have remained just that; dust. The spirit of man; that which makes us alive is the breath of God, living, alive, capable, and at the point of the creation of man, perfect. Adam’s choice to eat of the ill fated fruit doomed him to strive to return to that perfection, which of course is not possible during our earthly life, yet still remains the pursuit.
Humanity. It is two fold; we are spirit, therefore, God breathed, and we are dust, and destined to return to the earth from which we came. Although God used dust to clothe His creation, there is hope. Yes, due to sin man was relegated to working the earth to eek out an existence, but the earth also brings forth fruit, therefore, this new creation had the possibility of bringing forth good fruit or not-so-good fruit depending upon the choices he made. And so it is with us.
The spirit, the God breathed part of us is unique, one of a kind, and there will never be another. It is what makes us who we are. Without it the body is just a body, devoid of life.
Adam represents the best and worst of God’s creation. Adam had the potential to be all that God had envisioned him to be, and the potential to succumb to his earthly, base nature, born of the dust, and live out his carnal nature; free will at its finest. Adam paved the way for each one of us. Adam – his name is made up of two letters. “Alef” means to teach, or to lead, to be the tribal head. The letters making up the “dam” of Adam refers to blood, the base nature of man, the loss of control, hot tempered. The “alef” is to take the lead and exert control over the blood. Said another way “Adam” also alludes to “adameh” or “I will liken myself” an indication that man is able to emulate God and His goodness.
Unfortunately, and there’s always an ‘unfortunately’, isn’t there? The two sides of ‘Adam’ are locked in a power struggle of sorts, and the free will stands between them. Look up and draw close to God and we emulate Him; look down and we connect with the earth, our base nature.
So how does all this garble-de-goop apply to the phrase ‘God doesn’t make junk’? The spirit of man, the God breathed part of each of us is a jewel in God’s treasure trove, a creation unique in all the world. It’s not junk! WE aren’t junk! And, like Adam, the first man, we are free to exert control over our base nature and emulate God. Even when we screw up, fail, fall flat on our faces, we still have the ability to stand up and look up, to give emulating God’s nature another shot! We are refined by those screw ups, polished, rolled around in God’s rock tumbler one more time. Junk??? I think not!
Shine like the beautiful jewel you are!! Here’s how King David put it, “14 I thank you because I am awesomely made, wonderfully; your works are wonders -I know this very well.15 My bones were not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes could see me as an embryo, but in your book all my days were already written; my days had been shaped before any of them existed” (Psalm 139 Complete Jewish Bible). YOU are fearfully and wonderfully made…..