By Velma J. Sanders
“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
The breath of life is life that God has imparted to every human being. It is that which activates man and gives to him breath and animation. This breath of life, from God to man, was first imparted to Adam, the progenitor of the human race.
Having been formed by God, Adam lay lifeless, as a corpse, upon the ground. James, in his epistle, stated it this way, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead, also.” It was not until God breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life that man lived. It was only at that moment that the eye received its twinkle, the heart started its pumping, and all other systems within the body were activated due to the breath of God; which is natural life, imparted into man.
God, the Giver of Life, grants to man this breath, and it continues in every person until death. Job’s friend, Elihu, who was born untold generations after Adam spoke of this when he said, “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” Job states, “All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils.” That same breath, imparted to Adam, was found in Elihu, in Job, and continues to this day in you and me, as well as in all of mankind. Paul preached to the intellectual men of Athens, “He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things . . . For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.”
This breath of life from God, to all, is in no way affected by or contingent upon the spiritual state of its inhabitant. Whether one is saint or sinner, weak or strong, regardless of stature or status, all share in the breath of life.
It is only at the time of death that the breath of life from God departs from the individual human body and returns to God. Solomon wrote, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” It is this breath that God put into Adam, the head of the human race, that He has never done a total recall. Written in Job, we find, “If He set His heart upon man, if He gather unto Himself His spirit and His breath, all flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.”
In conclusion, the breath of life is the breath of God that indwells a person and gives him natural life. Having received it, “without money and without price,” this priceless gift, God’s command to each benefactor is, “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord, Praise ye the Lord.”