So they went into the ark with Noah, two by two of all living beings in which there was the breath and spirit of life. Those which entered, male and female of all flesh (creatures), entered as God had commanded Noah; and the Lord closed the door behind him. The flood [the great downpour of rain] was forty days and nights on the earth; and the waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it floated [high] above the land. The waters became mighty and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the waters. The waters prevailed so greatly and were so mighty and overwhelming on the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered.[In fact] the waters became [c]fifteen cubits higher [than the highest ground], and the mountains were covered. All living beings that moved on the earth perished—birds and cattle (domestic animals), [wild] animals, all things that swarm and crawl on the earth, and all mankind. Everything on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath and spirit of life, died. – Genesis 7:15-22
God’s breath of life permeates all living things. However, it must be understood that this breath of life from God does not give immortality, just physical animation. The very fact of breathing — every breath you take — is evidence that God exists and has constant care and concern for you every moment of every day.
The breath of life and death are counterpoised in God’s pronouncement of the flood upon the world.
In fact Genesis 7:22 is literally translated, according to the Hebrew: “all in whose nostrils was the breath and spirit [ruach] of life” When God takes away the breath, body functions quickly end and death results.
“then the Lord God [a]formed [that is, created the body of] man from the[b]dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath [ruach] of life; and the man became a living being [an individual complete in body and spirit].”
• Genesis 2:7
“The Spirit [ruach] of God has made me,
And the breath of [a]the Almighty gives me life [which inspires me]”
• Job 33:4
“You [God] hide Your face, they are dismayed;
You take away their breath [ruach, spirit], they die
And return to their dust.
You send out Your Spirit [ruach], they are created;
You renew the face of the ground.”
• Psalm 104:29–30
If our very existence depends on the essence of breathing, but in having the spirit of life as well, how can we ignore that spirit within? Worse, how can we violate its very purpose and being – and yet we do and we do so willingly. In this case, the story of Noah, it became so bad that the entire human race, save eight, destroyed.
If we could get this far away from God, imagine how close we could allow God to get to us. With the same level of passion, what kind of life could the spirit give us to live? Never mind the opportunity to inspire, renew, create – just knowing that we live and move and have our being because He is within us – the sense of purpose and accomplishment would be incredible.
May every breath I take remind me that within me is the spirit of life. May I always choose to follow life in the spirit.