“In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:10)
The air is clear now, thankfully the smoke has dissipated and we have the opportunity to enjoy the crisp air of autumn as it transforms our world with it’s stunning colors. It’s such a beautiful time of year, as we harvest the abundance from the land and we prepare ourselves for the transition to winter quietness.
Right now the idea of breathing in the fresh air has been on my mind (and fortunately in my lungs)! It seems the year of 2020 has been all about breathing, whether it’s “not” breathing in something bad like viruses and smoke, or symbolically breathing in good things like compassion, joy, and peace.
It’s not surprising that the Bible has a lot to say about breath, especially using it as a symbol to communicate spiritual concepts. In fact, we see from the beginning of the creation, breath is a vital necessity, as well as a powerful symbol. In Genesis 2:7, we read:
“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.”
From the beginning, God gave us the breath of life and then uses that very concept to remind us that he is the source of all life and the source of understanding. Notice what is recorded in Job 32:
“But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.” (Job 32:8)
Continuing on, we see the pattern of how he’s going to bring back to us his breath of eternal life, which we forfeited when sin entered the world, through Jesus. In Isaiah 42, he writes:
“Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.”” (Isaiah 42:5-9)
And then, the most breathtaking series of events to ever happen on earth erupted in the form of a baby born in 1st century Palestine, who grew up in favor with God and man. (Luke 2) He lived, taught, and was killed in Jerusalem at the hands of Pontius Pilot and the Jewish leaders. On the surface, it seemed as if his breath was extinguished forever, but in three days Jesus, the Breath of Life, the Christ, burst forth from the tomb and the world was forever changed, and so were his disciples, when he appeared to them.
“Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:21-22)
The Breath of Life empowered the Twelve to take Christianity to their whole world, starting in Jerusalem and spreading out from there. The book of Acts is the history of this beginning:
“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4)
Our hope is that you will desire to know Jesus and develop an eternal relationship with God through him. He is truly the Breath of Life and worthy of our praise. We invite you to come and find the answers you are looking for in Jesus!
“Breath of heaven, Hold me together,
Be forever near me, Breath of heaven.
Breath of heaven, Lighten my darkness,
Pour over me your holiness,
For you are holy, Breath of heaven.”*
*“Breath of Heaven by Chris Eaton and Amy Grant”