When I was a kid, I used to play in the dirt. I had a few favorite places. I had a spot on the hillside. I had a hole in the chicken yard. Sometimes I would go over to the neighbor’s house and play in the pigpen. It’s a wonder I’m still alive.
As you get older, you begin to realize that dirt is something people avoid. People who make lots of money don’t have to play in the dirt. They pay other people to do the dirty jobs. A few will play in the dirt, just for the fun of it, but having money and respect means you get the choose when you get dirty. The boss never gets dirty. That’s for the common worker.
We know that Jesus, who is God, chose to humble himself as the lowest human being he could be. (Philippians 2:5-11) We also know that God sent his Son because he loved the world. (John 3:16) But why did God create man in the first place? And what does that have to do with dirt?
Some people will tell you that God’s creation of man had something to do with God’s glory. Though God is glorified by man, I have a hard time believing that is why God created us. He had plenty of glory without us. And we’ve been an awful lot of trouble. And yet, Jesus humbled himself and made himself obedient to death, just so we could be saved. He will be glorified because of it, but it is the love of God that caused him to make that choice.
Now think about that dirt again. And think about when God created man. Look at Genesis 2:7. God formed man from dust and then he breathed into that dirt the breath of life. I’ve often looked at this passage and thought about how low man is. We’re nothing but the dust of the ground. But think about how low God had to make himself, to give us life. We have this image of God stooping down and shaping the dust. Then he bends over it and breathes into it. Man is the only part of creation that God had to touch, and we were nothing but dirt. Where is the glory in that? And if it weren’t bad enough, most of us will reject him. Where is the glory? What makes it worthwhile for God to humble himself to make us, and then humble himself to pay our sin debt? Why didn’t he make something else?
When we look at it in terms of God’s love instead of his glory, it starts to make sense. Unlike us, who don’t experience love until we get to know someone, God loved us before we were made. In fact, God has the ability to make those he loves. So it isn’t farfetched for us to say that the reason God would stoop down to form man from dust and breathe in to his nostrils is because of God’s love for man.