From the Dust


When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground—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. Genesis 2:5-7 ESV

As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:13-14


There’s a story that when God took the dust of the ground to form the first man, he added a spoonful of dust from the place where the altar of the temple of God would stand. This is the altar where animals were sacrificed so that God’s people could have their sins forgiven. According to the story, God knew that the man would sin, and so he took some dust from where the altar would be so that he could forgive him.

This is only a story. God knows everything, and he knew that the man would sin. But he didn’t make him to sin. He made the first man to be holy and perfect. But our first parents disobeyed God and sinned. They needed God’s mercy and forgiveness, and so do we.

God sees our sinfulness and our weakness, and he looks at us with mercy. He is like a good father who sees his children being disobedient or crabby or wound up or sulky. He sees that they are children. He knows that they are immature and can’t be good all the time. He goes on loving and caring for them.

God doesn’t just look on us with mercy. He helps us when we are weak and sinful by giving us his strength. He sent Jesus to be our Savior. Because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, God forgives all of our sins, all of the time.


Dear Father, Thank you for loving us as your children, and thank you for sending Jesus to help us and forgive us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Ginzberg, Louis Legends of the Bible Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America 1956 pp. 28-29.