Judaeo Christian Essay, Research Paper
Psalms, Genesis, and Exodus are three different portions of the bible that I feel serve two different purposes. There are many major differences in the way that God?s relationship with humankind is expressed in Psalms, and the way that it is expressed in Genesis and Exodus. In my paper I intend to go over the differences that I feel are the most important in understanding what Psalms, Genesis, and Exodus add to the bible.
In Psalms, the relationship between God and humankind is not one where any physical or verbal interaction takes place. Interaction of the physical or verbal nature does not take place with God or anything that God creates in Psalms. God does not give the humans any rules, consequences, or commands. God does not express any emotions in Psalms, the people do.
One major aspect of Psalms is humankind boasting about how great and powerful God is. This is exemplified all throughout Psalms, such as in Psalm 8:1, where a mortal states ?Lord our sovereign, how glorious is your name throughout the world! Your majesty is praised as high as the heavens.? God?s praise is also brought out in Psalms 9:1-9:2 where a mortal says ?I shall give praise to you Lord, with my whole heart, I shall recount all of your marvelous deeds. I shall rejoice and exult in you, the most high.? In my opinion the Psalm that best portrays God as a great and powerful leader of all humankind is Psalms 27:1 where the mortal says ?The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life.?
Psalms also has a lot of what I view as mortals speaking of how they take refuge in the Lord and feel safe in his presence. This point is also exemplified all throughout Psalms, one example coming from Psalms 12:1. Here the mortal says ?Save us, Lord. For no one who is loyal remains; good faith between people has vanished.? Another example of this comes from Psalms 18:1 where the mortal says ?I Love You, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my lofty crag, my fortress, my champion. my God, my rock in whom I find shelter.?
The last idea that I feel is portrayed all throughout Psalms is the idea that mortals are calling out to the Lord in distress because they feel like their lives are miserable. I think that Psalms 22:1-22:2 expresses this idea well as the mortal states ?My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from heeding my groans?? I feel that this idea is also portrayed well in Psalms 3:1 where the mortal states ?Lord how numerous are my enemies! How many there are who rise against me.? In my opinion this idea of the mortal being in distress and feeling alone and in misery is best portrayed in Psalms 13:1-13:2 where the mortal says ? How long, Lord, will you leave me forgotten, how long hide your face from me. How long must I suffer anguish in my soul, grief in my heart day after day??
In the writings of Genesis and Exodus there is a lot of verbal and physical interaction with God. God gives humankind many rules, consequences, and commands. One example of this is in Genesis when God forbade Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. After Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree, the serpent whom told Eve to eat the fruit, along with Adam and Eve, were given consequences by God. The serpent was cursed to be alone for eternity, crawling on his belly and eating dust. On Adam?s behalf the earth was cursed and humans were to only get food by hard labor. On Eve?s behalf women were to have great labor in childbirth and men were to be their masters.
Another example of God handing out consequences is found in Genesis 6:7, when after the Lord had seen how wicked the human race could be he said ?I shall wipe off the face of the earth this human race which I have created-yes, man and beast, creeping things and birds. I regret I ever made them.? Shortly after this in Genesis 7:1 the Lord says to Noah, whom the lord thought well of, ?Go into the ark, (which God had instructed Noah to build earlier) you and all your household, for you alone in this generation I have found to be righteous.? I feel that this is an important excerpt because it in my opinion shows that God is not heartless and without reason in his judgements.
Another good example of God setting rules and interacting with the human race starts in Exodus 20:2, when God tells Moses the ten commandments and then goes on to state other rules for the people to live by in their daily lives. One of these such rules is in Exodus 21:12 where God says to Moses ?Whoever strikes another man and kills him must be put to death. But if he did not act with intent, but it comes about by act of God, the slayer may flee to a place which I shall appoint for you.? I think that this is meant by God to be the way murder is dealt with in the justice system of the human race. Another one of these rules is presented in Exodus 22:20 where God says to Moses ?Whoever sacrifices to any god but the Lord must be put to death under solemn ban.? In my opinion God says this to put the fear of God into the people so that they will be faithful to God.
Another difference in God?s relationship to humankind in Exodus from the relationship in Psalms is that in Exodus God is there to physically help and reassure the people, where as in Psalms the mortals rely solely on their strong faith in God. This is exemplified well in Exodus 3:12 where God says to Moses in the form of a burning bush as Moses is in fear of leading the Israelis out of Egypt that ?I am with you. This will be your proof that it is I who have sent you.? The power of God is again presented in a physical form in Exodus 4:2-4:9. In these readings God gives Moses the power to turn his staff into a snake, turn his hand into one that is white with disease, and also turn the Nile River into a river of blood. The Lord does this with the intention of helping Moses so that the Egyptians and his fellow Israelis know that he and the Lord are for real.
In writing this paper I have discovered many contrasting ways that God?s relationship with the human race is portrayed in Psalms, Genesis, and Exodus. I feel that they are different from each other because they are intended to serve different purposes in making the bible what it is. I feel that Psalms is in the bible to add emotion and energy to it. I feel that Genesis and Exodus are in the bible to tell stories that are intended to give us insight into the history of Christianity and solidify our Christian beliefs.