Transcendence of God

Transcendent means beyond this material world around us.  Immanent is the opposite, within this world.  This mysterious reality of a transcendent God is not a thing, but a being, a personal being, beyond all personality that is all-powerful and all gentle.  This transcendent mystery may be sometimes contradictory, yet we try to live in harmony and in accord with this unknown.  An encounter with mystery is an experience that we feel is a part of our lives.  Thus, a personal encounter with a personal mystery is an attempt to explain our human relationship with God.  How is reading the Bible an encounter with a transcendent God?

Creative wisdom (Prov 8:22-8:31)

“Yahweh created me at the beginning of his work.

This was the first of his acts of long ago.

Ages ago,

I was set up,

At the first,

Before the beginning of the earth.

When there were no depths

I was brought forth.

When there were no springs

Abounding with water,

I was brought forth.

Before the mountains had been shaped,

Before the hills were shaped,

I was brought forth.

Before he had made the earth and fields,

I was brought forth.

Before the world’s first bits of soil,

I was brought forth.

When he established the heavens,

I was there.

When he drew a circle on the face of the deep,

I was there.

When he made firm the skies above,

I was there.

When he established the fountains of the deep,

I was there.

When he assigned to the sea its limit,

I was there.

Thus the waters might not transgress his command,

When he marked out the foundations of the earth.

Then I was beside him,

Like a master workman.

I was daily his delight.

I rejoiced before him always.

I rejoiced in his inhabited world.

I delighted in the human race.”

The personality of wisdom was created at the beginning of creation. In a certain sense this personal female created wisdom was an antidote to the many female gods at the time of the Exile and the post-exilic period. Wisdom says that she was created before anything else, including before the time of water, mountains, and earth. Lady wisdom preceded the heavens also. She was there before anything else was created, including humans. She was like the co-worker at creation.