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God in Genesis
The nature and character of God, as found in the Bible and in human consciousness, is a widely disputed and contested field of debate. The reason for this is the very nature of God as ephemeral and unknowable. Human beings can surmise ideas from God from religious texts and their own experience. However, no human being can claim to know the true nature of God. This fact seems to be especially clear when reading religions texts such as Bible, in which numerous concepts of God are depicted not only throughout the Bible itself, but even within each individual book. This is particularly true in Genesis, where the story of creation and the origin of the Israelites create a variety of personalities for God, which are used as the situation dictates. Indeed, there is even a marked difference between the ways in which God is depicted in Genesis 1 and 2, where the first chapter sketches him as all powerful, outside of creation, and impersonal, while chapter 2 brings him closer to creation and to a relationship with human beings.
Brady (2009) points out that Genesis 1 does not provide any introduction or description of God. Readers are to deduce his nature from the text. He is depicted as the source of all creation. He existed in the chaos before anything existed, and it is from his powerful will that creation came into existence. This depicts God as all powerful and mighty. He rules over everything. Also, no intermediaries are necessary to achieve his creation goal, and the elements of creation are manipulated by no more than his word and his will. As such, his decree is compared to that of a king, who merely needs to speak and his will is done.
Another interesting point Brady makes is that God's nature is orderly. Creation comes into being in a specific and thoughtful order. It is the opposite of the chaos that existed before. It provides readers with a sense of reassurance that God is thoughtful and orderly. Nothing occurs in the universe without his thoughtful design. Hence, God is both order and thought to chaos and thoughtlessness not only to creation, but also to human living. Bible readers today might apply this to their lives before and after God came into their lives. Furthermore, Genesis 1 depicts God as a creator responding to his own creation drive rather than to any external force. One might even compare this to the scientific or construction professions, where the world is built according to a divine plan or blueprint. In other words, he is not random and does not do things in a random manner. On the last day of creation are human beings. Significantly, Genesis 1 gives few details of this. The details are left for Genesis 2.
In short, Genesis 1 provides an image of God as all powerful, thoughtful, rational, scientific, as constructor and planner of the universe. It is an image of God as beyond the ability of the mind to fathom; he is beyond the universe and rules over everything. He is the creator and king, and at the same time profoundly rational and non-random.
Furthermore, this rationality and planning that God uses to create the universe can also be used as a premise for the "image of God" as created in human beings, where we are rational, thinking, planning beings. This factor can then be used as a premise for his closer connection to humanity in chapter 2, where God enters creation, uses it to create human beings, and becomes part of the world even while being beyond it and retaining his all powerful nature.
In Genesis 2, God therefore gains an extra dimension in the reader's consciousness. Indeed, the style and tone of this chapter differs significantly from the first, where God is depicted in grandiose and all-encompassing terms (The Flaming Heretic?, 2005). In chapter 2, God is described as becoming part of the physical world, where he works with physical elements to continue his creation effort. Also, in addition to God's nature as creator, he is also depicted in his capacity as manager in Genesis 2, where he begins to not only create without any external motivation, but where he also begins to manage in response to the needs that become apparent in his creation.
He moves with and in response to…[continue]
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