Breath of the Lord

“Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” “With the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.” “Then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth… The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan.” Genesis 2:7; Job 33:4; Isaiah 11:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-9

At creation, after fashioning man from the dust of the ground, God breathed into him, initiating the wondrous gift we call life. From the beginning, the invisible, powerful breath of God has given life, and throughout Scripture, this same breath revives and calls to renewed life the languishing, the weary, even the dead. And it is this divine breath that will one day do away with the evil one, our enemy. With one blow. ‘Whoo.’ The hope and promises and vitality from God’s breathed word are ours to learn from, be trained by, and own. (Isaiah 40:28-29; Ezekiel 37:4-6,9-10; John 11:43-44; 2 Timothy 3:16)

When I think about God’s very breath, I imagine the unspeakable and perfectly ordered power that spoke into being all His magnificent creation, that “said, and it was so,” that stopped the sea at its edges, that blows clouds across the sky, sways leaves and grasses, turns up the sea in white frothy caps to remind us Who is in control. I also marvel that He Who takes us into the storms is He Who measures their buffeting with His love and care, and when His purposes are complete, speaks them still and calm. (Genesis 1:9; Job 38:8-13; Psalm 107:25-29; Isaiah 42:5-6; Luke 8:24; 1 Peter 5:10)

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Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, ‘Truly this man was the Son of God!’” Mark 15:37,39

To add a dimension to the marvel of the creative and calming breath of the Lord, we must consider Jesus Who, fully God, came to earth as a breathing human to “breathe His last” for us.

“Behold the man upon a cross, my sin upon His shoulders;
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life – I know that it is finished.”  ~Stuart Townend (1995)

Where my breath mocks, His loves beyond measure. Where I speak out of turn, He speaks truth. When my words sting and destroy, His soothe and heal. Allelujah. Where do I need a fresh blow from God today?

God, breathe on me afresh this day, and train me to inhale You as I exhale all that is not of You. As long as I have breath, may Your very life be mine, and the words I breathe bring honor to You and bless Your holy name. (Job 27:3-4; Psalm 103:1; Daniel 5:23)

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