The Book of Genesis is the first book listed in the Old Testament as well as in the Hebrew Bible. It includes the stories of the world’s creation, the people’s exile from the Paradise, the stories about the Great Flood and Babel Tower and many others. In these parables God is described as the most powerful creature in the Universe, he can rule people and their lives but he is also a kind Father for his kids, who did lots of mistakes and can still be forgiven though. Undoubtedly, the God is the central character of the Book of Genesis. He is the most rightful figure, who possesses plenty of wisdom and power.
The first story mentioned in the Book of Genesis is the story of the world’s creation. As is known, the God created the world in six days “and the God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Davis 142). When the first man, Adam, was sleeping the God took one of his ribs and made a woman out of it. The God let Adam to name all the living creatures in the world as well as all the plants. But the role of God is the most important in this Book. He is depicted as the creator, the demiurge. He created the whole world including people “and God saw it was good” (Davis 140). He is the only who knows what is good and what is bad, what should be done and what should not. He is the wisest and the mightiest. Undoubtedly, the character of God is a good and rightful personage. Nevertheless, his power is unlimited and it can be seen in the scene when he sends people from the Garden of Edem. He is the only solution-maker in this situation.
Another story depicted in the Holy Bible is the story of Cain and Abel. They are sons of Adam and Eve born on the Earth. Abel was a keeper of a sheep and Cain “was a tiller of the soil” (Davis 144). One day brothers were making sacrifices to the God. And a sheep offered by Abel was respected but fruit offered by Cain was not. This upsets Cain and he kills his brother. There is no explanation given in the Bible why the Cain’s sacrifice was not received by God. Still, Cain is the only guilty in this situation. From the God’s point of view, he encourages Cain to try better next time. But Cain’s temper made him to kill his brother. His punishment is cruel. Even Cain says: “My punishment is greater than I can bear” (Davis 145). The Cain’s crime is terrifying but the decision of God is cruel, too. It is still rightful and wise though. The Lord’s way of communication is depicted as a law that shall be obeyed. As in the previous story God is the only one who decides what is good and what is bad. He is the only one, who can decide on punishment.
In the story of the Great Flood the God’s disappointment is observed. He created men and women but they do only the evil and the wicked on the Earth. He decides to destroy all the living on the planet. He is upset and dissatisfied with people but he is not angry at all. His decisions are not controlled by his feelings. They are wise and reasonable. The God never loses his temper. He picks one of the living men, Noah, who was “a just man and perfect in his generations” (Davis 148). This man followed the rules of God and therefore the Lord decided to help him and his sons to survive. Though the God feels sorrow because of the wickedness of people he is still a kind one because he wants the humanity to come over the flood and he loves men who follow His rules and respects them. He warns Noah about the flood and commanded him to make a ship. In this story not only the commanding role of God is observed. He is not only punishing but also blesses those who are living in harmony. Besides, in this situation the image of God is not passive. He is not an observer anymore. He actively decides the destiny of humans.
The story of Tower of Babel illustrates the punishment for people who become too proud of themselves. They decided to build a city and a tower with its tops in Heavens. In case they build such a tower nothing would be beyond their reach. The God could not stand that the people decided that they are as mighty as he is and he made thousands of languages out of the one they spoke before not to let them finish the construction. The Lord is powerful and he wants people to respect his power and wants people to believe that his power is real. In this story he is depicted as a ruler who takes care and controls his partials.
In the story of Abraham and his son Isaac the Gods tests the faith of Abraham. He wants to know whether the father is ready to sacrifice his only child to the God in the name of love to Him. It can be seen from this story that the God is kind to those of people who love him but he demands a proof of this love. His methods may be cruel from the first sight but they are effective. The God would never let down those of people who love him and follow his rules and laws. The last story of the Book of Genesis illustrates that everyone is rewarded according his or her faith. Joseph was sold by his elder brothers into slavery but because of his faith and his talents he manages to get a high position and help his brother in the times of misfortune and famine.
The Book of Genesis proclaims the power of the God. The influence of the God’s will is very strong in this book. The figure of God is paternal and powerful. He is the most important actor and the only one who can decide on people’s destinies. Still he is also the responsible one. Therefore, his decisions are wise.
Davis, Paul, et al. The Bedford Anthology of World Literature. Vol. 1: The Ancient World. New York: Bedford/St. Martins, 2003. Print