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God’s Creative Authority In Genesis And Job

1549 words - 6 pages

God’s role in the Bible is characterized in several different ways, with dramatically competing attributes. He takes on many functions and, as literary characters are, he is dynamic and changes over time. The portrayal of God is unique in separate books throughout the Bible. This flexibility of role and character is exemplified by the discrepancy in the depiction of God in the book of Genesis in comparison to the depiction of God in the book of Job. On the larger scale, God creates with intention in Genesis in contrast to destroying without reason in Job. However, as the scale gets smaller, God’s creative authority can be seen in both books, yet this creative authority is manifested in entirely distinctive manners. In Genesis, God as creator is ideal, moral, and rational; in Job, God as creator is boastful, flawed, and discredited by his own pride.
As explicitly stated in the first line of Genesis, “God created the heavens and the earth”; God is a creator (Genesis 1:1). He is all-powerful, gentle, and remains above his creation. In his own perfect and distant way, God announces, “let there be” a new creation, and it is so (Genesis 1:3). The simple process ends with his seeing that his creation is good, his blessing, and the circular pattern of evening and morning. He is the essence of a divine Creator. Genesis paints an ideal picture of God in which he forms the heavens and the earth, day and night, water and sky, earth and sea, plants, creatures, and mankind – all with intention. In the first chapter of Genesis, everything that God creates has a plain and simple name, which reflects the greatness of the creation without boast. The light is called “Day,” the darkness is called “Night,” and there is nothing more to it. Each individual creation has a distinct purpose, which God dictates as he goes. The Priestly author writes, “God made two great lights – the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night” (Genesis 1:16). He distinguishes his inventions with minute details and yet, simultaneously, the entire creation is pure and simple. There is no elaboration; his ideas just come into being. Once each individual creation has come to be, God sees that is it good. Additionally, God is reasonable. There is a logical reason and a unique place for everything: “God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome” (Genesis 1:7). In addition to the content of God’s will and creations, the repetition and standardization of the verses in Genesis 1 reflect his steadiness as a creator.
In stark contrast to God’s presence in Genesis, the character of God in Job strays from the ideal perfection of the divine. The concept of the ideal manifested in Genesis is embodied in God’s moral, reasonable, and rational behavior. In Job, on the other hand, rather than being reasonable, methodical, and creating life, God displays more human characteristics and plays the role of both creator and...

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