Frequently on popular media the impression is given that the life of humans is exactly the same as that of the animal world and therefore we are just another kind of animal, just more evolved, but essentially the same.
Scripture says otherwise.
When we read the creation account in Genesis not only is there a change in the way the creation of man takes place – distinct and definite from the rest of creation, and in the image of God – but in the expanded account in chapter 2 another factor is added that again sets mankind apart from the animal world, God breathes into man the breath of life.
Let’s read/hear that again, God breathed into man the breath of life.
This wasn’t the same as animal life. God didn’t do this for any of the animals. This was completely different. This has to do with ‘the life of God in the soul of man’ to borrow a phrase from Henry Scougal.
Humanity was given a different kind of life to the animal world, a life that was God-breathed and energised, a life that was truly from above. Man was to be animated by God’s life.
As God took this lifeless form that he had fashioned from the dust of the earth and breathed into him the breath of life, man became a ‘living soul/creature/being’ (depending on the translation you use). Now someone will say, ‘doesn’t it also say that animals are also living souls/beings/creatures (i.e. Gen 1:20)?’ And the answer is yes it does, but they are not God-breathed, only man is. Scripture seems to go out of it’s way to detail the particular creation of humanity as similar (from dust – therefore of this ‘world’) yet distinct from (in the image of God and receiving the breath of life – therefore partaking of another ‘world’).
God gives something of his life to humanity that the rest of creation doesn’t receive and as such he is able to know and interact with God in a very knowable and personal way. He is indeed made a ‘little lower than the angels and crowned with glory and honour and given dominion over the rest of creation’ (Psalm 8).
Human life is God-breathed and therefore a higher, nobler life than any other form. It’s life that’s truly from above. A life to be lived not on the animal plane, but life with God and for God. Wow! What is man that you are mindful of Him!