Belief in God

The ultimate source of all is the creative God.  This universal gifted invitation from God is built on human trust, and needs a response from the whole person, that develops a way of life, a certain kind of spirituality.  Belief is a free acceptance response, a particular approach to the religious question that all humans have about the ultimate concern in their lives.

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Wisdom and creation (Bar 3:32-3:34)

But the one who knows

All things

Knows her.

He found her

By his understanding.

The one who prepared

The earth

For all time

Filled it

With four-footed creatures.

The one who sends forth

The light,

Then it goes.

He called it.

It obeyed him

Trembling.

The stars shone

In their watches.

They were glad.

He called them.

They said.

‘Here we are!’

They shone

With gladness

For him

Who made them.”

Baruch connected wisdom with creation, a great theme of late wisdom literature. Once again, this puts into doubt the Baruch authorship. God, who knows everything, knew about wisdom. Somehow wisdom was separate from God. God was able to find this wisdom, because of his understanding. God prepared the earth for all time in this static view of the earth. He filled it with four-footed creatures, while other creatures were not mentioned. God sent the light and it happened. He merely had to call it, and it happened. This is much like the first creation story in Genesis, chapter 1. The stars in the sky gladly followed his commands. They were like the prophets with this personification of stars saying that they were ready to shine with gladness in obedience to the creative God who made them.

The questions (Prov 30:4-30:4)

“Who has ascended to heaven and come down?

Who has gathered the wind in the hollow of his hand?

Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment?

Who has established all the ends of the earth?

What is the person’s name?

What is the name of the person’s child?

Surely you know!”

Then Agur asks a serious of penetrating questions. This is something like a riddle. Some Christians have interpreted these questions to be an allusion to Jesus. However, this seems to be an allusion to a creative God. This God came down and went back to heaven. He gathered the wind in his hand and the waters in his garments. He established all the ends of the earth. Then there is that intriguing question. What is his name? What is the name of the son or child of that person? Then in a sarcastic tone, he admonishes all that surely everyone should know who he is and his name.

Job did not follow false religious heavenly cults (Job 31:26-31:28)

“If I have looked at the sun when it shone,

If I looked at the moon moving in splendor,

If my heart has been secretly enticed,

If my mouth has kissed my hand,

This also would be an iniquity.

This should be punished by the judges.

I should have been false to God above.”

There were religious cults of the sun, moon, and stars. Job maintained that he was not entrapped by their allure. The kiss on the hand was a form of adoration. No, Job was true to the heavenly almighty creative God, Shaddai. Otherwise he should have been punished by judges because he would have been false to God.   Obviously, as a non-Israelite, he would not have known about Yahweh.