Task Images of God in Genesis God is a focal character in the lengthy narrative that is the book of Genesis; He is the most compelling character in the book. He is, in fact, the one figure whose presence ties it together from the beginning to end. From creation to the settlement of Joseph’s family in Egypt, God in one way or another is central as he interacts with other characters. This character, God, gives a coherence and structure to the extended narrative of Genesis that is often otherwise experienced as quite episodic.
In the book of Genesis, all stories bring out God as the most central character thereby creating different images of Him throughout the book. This paper is about the various images of God as depicted in the stories of the creation of the world, the beginnings of history, Cain and Abel: the first murder, the flood, the tower of Babel, Abraham and Isaac, Joseph and brothers, and Moses and the exodus in the book of Genesis. The first image of God depicted in the book of Genesis is that of a creator and a sovereign designer.
The book of Genesis opens with the words, ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’ (Paul, Gary & Johnson, 234). Before the creation, the earth is described as empty and void; God embarks on a series of activities that turn it into a finely structured cosmos. God is active in creating, but there is no struggle; he does not have to work at it but rather to command the existence of whatever he desires. Creation comes directly from his utterance and actions, as expressions of his will.
On the first three days, spaces are created (the heavens, the seas, and dry land with vegetation) and or the next three days these spaces are populated (with the sun, moon and stars: the fish, other swarming creatures, and birds; mammals), and eventually humans. Judging from his creation God is absorbed on structures and taxonomies and hierarchy. After Adam consumes the forbidden fruit God expels him from the Garden of Eden. In genesis 3:22, God suggests that the results of combining the Knowledge of Good and Evil with the benefits offered by the tree are extremely severe (Paul, Gary & Johnson, 454).
This leads to his prompt action of expelling Adam from the garden and thus from access to immortality. The struggle is brought out in that God’s prohibition soon proves on the face of it less than effective. Another image of God brought out is that of Him as a struggling parent. God molds an earthling from the dust on the ground and breaths into his nostrils a living breath creating Adam.
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