God’s Creative Authority in Genesis and Job

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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 indivi... ... middle of paper ... ...other books throughout the Bible. On the other hand, the book of Job is of unknown author and origins, which is reflected in God’s inconsistent attributes with many of his other depictions in additional books. While the first glance of God given in the Bible is one of a perfect creator, the flexibility of his nature allows for his characteristics to shift with various contexts. His rational, reasonable, and moral personality in the first book provides a harsh contrast to his boastful, immoral, and imperfect manner in the later book of Job. Instead of methodically creating he is unfairly destroying. However, on a more complex level, God is creator in both stories. The depiction of his creative authority in Job is discredited by his overly proud and sarcastic portrayal of his own accomplishment. This leads to a further discrepancy in his two already distinct roles.

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