One of the qualities most Evangelical Western Christians ascribe to God, is that of all knowing. But, where do we get that idea? And, what does it really mean?
Have you ever thought about the idea of God learning to be God? You’re probably thinking, “That’s crazy! God has always known how to be God. “
"But what do you mean by that?" I’d ask in response. Accepting the idea that God has been God forever, and didn’t even have to self-create, the addition of life to universe changes the tenor of creation.
The analogy that seems most fitting, is that of a well developed adult. With a job and a life, there’s a lot of order established. So, when a fully functional adult suddenly becomes a parent, the world becomes a whole new place. So, now God has all these kids running around, and I seriously have this picture of God running around going. “Stop it, we don’t bite! Finish your breakfast and go wash up, you smell like an animal. I can’t stay here watching you all day. I have a universe that I haven’t tended to since you woke up. “
You think I’m out of line right now, don’t you? It’s okay. I would too. But here’s the thing, God wasn’t bummed out ‘til after mankind hit the scene.
Genesis chapter six is one facepalm moment after another for God.
Verse 3 Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” Right there God says, “I can’t take this forever, one twenty and you’re done.”
But less than three verses later, God has “had it up to here.” And declares a cosmic do over [stop crying, it’s in the Bible]. God is so over this human experiment, people totally suck, verse 6 The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the LORD said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
So, first God "regrets" the decision to make humans. Then we have God, resolving to destroy them, and not just people, but every animal that hadn't done a thing wrong (unless you believe that non-sentient animals are capable of rebellion). Finally we have God, changing his mind on the whole total annihilation thing when Noah comes along.
In Genesis chapter eight, God looks around at a mud covered world devoid of life, “What is that amazing smell? And what did I just do? Wow what a massive waste…I think? O.K. Maybe next time, I’ll count to three before going straight to system restore (v21). My bad, Noah. Here’s something pretty to look at while you repopulate the planet. And, even better, when I see it, I’ll remember not to wreck your planet again (9:12-16).”
In Genesis, if God changes his mind, and needs a reminder about things promised, maybe, just maybe, God is working out the transition from God of the universe, to God of Humanity. Then again, maybe not.
Illustration: frowzivitch (DeviantART)