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Why Was Adam Created Out of Dirt? And Why Was He Cursed Back To Dirt?


The answer can be summed up in one simple statement: The creation of righteousness, and the defense of righteousness in the earth.

That is a mouthful…so let’s get simpler and explain it, in the picture form that a Hebrew would understand…

First of all the Genesis 1 passage does not mention dirt right away, it mentions God creating man in His own image: “Let Us make man in Our own image….with dominion over ALL the earth.”

The next chapter Genesis 2 we learn that God created Adam out of the dust of the ground, which literally means clay or rubbish. 

The first thing to understand is that Calling comes first, then comes the actual manifestation or existence of man. Man’s purpose was made quite clear, “Have dominion over the earth.” Man was to be an upright caretaker of the world created by God. 

The Psalmist also points out that God made man a little lower than the angels. It is clear too that God made man on the last day, as if it were a “crown” to His created order.

Psa. 8:4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? 
Psa. 8:5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. 
Psa. 8:6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: 


A side picture of man being created out of dirt is the picture of Christ’s Authority over death. Christ took dirt, which is maximized death or disorder, and created functioning, breathing man. Death is no obstacle to Christ.

Then why did God Curse man with “Dust thou art, and dust shalt thou return?” Man was to have authority over the earth. He was to rule it righteously and eventually create an existence of peace and order for all mankind and for every beast alike. Everything would “live in harmony” as prominent secular singers such as John Lennon have said.

Trouble is that secular man, like the John Lennon mentioned above, man will do it his way, and try to pound out an existence his way, making man in his own image. As Paul says in Romans, they will make every effort to abolish God and make a god of their own creation: 

Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 
Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 
Rom 1:23 And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things.
 

Man was designed by God to build a beautiful civilization in the earth. We have a glimpse in our country of the potential of peace and prosperity, which are blessings of a righteous civilization. 

(Don’t get me wrong, we are not a righteous civilization, but we had roots in the Puritan forefathers, and those before them that planted Christian principles in the civilization which had staying power. We in our American Civilization are riding on the waves of our forefathers….)

The Reason Adam Was Cursed To Dirt

If Christ left Adam to be in his uncovered, un-redeemed state, Adam would drive all mankind into the ground, and literally create a death-civilization. 

The death-ethic of the idolatrous civilizations that existed prior to the flood and after the flood, bear testimony or witness to the death effects of rotting civilizations. The bloody massacre of the Aztec civilization comes to mind when thinking of death and its manifestation. 

Aztec Priest getting ready to sacrifice a virgin girl.

Christ could not allow man to exist without being reminded of the death sentence put on all mankind for their continual rebellion against Him. The “Dust Shall Thou Return “ reminds us all of the fact that we are not allowed to have full dominion without Christ, not even over the dirt, because we are in rebellion against God. 

Christ rules death, and declares us to die, therefore return to dirt, the maximized disorder of the elements that make man.

Christ was defending righteousness by not allowing full reign of terror by mankind in the world. Death stops us in our tracks and hinders development of aberrant civilization.


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