Thursday, June 18, 2020


Divine presence in the ancient world has significance not just in regard to enabling relationship of some sort between humans and deity but as that which brings and maintains order in the world and in the cosmos. God is the center and source of order; in and through his presence the whole cosmos coheres. Though Genesis 1–11 is framed by the element of divine presence, the driving theme through this section is order, which derives from the divine presence.

In the beginning there was nonorder (Heb. tohu wabohu [Gen 1:2]). This condition is not evil or flawed; it is just a work in process. Order in the ancient world defined existence and is characterized by having a purpose (whether in human terms or in the larger sphere of God’s plans as much as they could be perceived). Material objects (such as the sea or the desert) in the ancient world could be considered nonexistent if their role and purpose could not be identified by people or if they had no function in human experience.—Lost World of the Flood, 112–13

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