Your stereotypical, average father trudges in from a long day of work, plunks himself down at the dinner table, inquires about baseball practices and play rehearsals, and retires to bed for the evening news and a moment of peace. This process involves love, commitment, and the ultimate acceptance of monotony. The father in the Old Testament is always at work, cannot be satiated by dinner, will not stop inquiring of His children's lives, and refuses to retire, to ensure the peace of his family. Often He models compassion and loyalty like no human being can fathom from another. At times, however, His parenting style conveys a tough love so unbending as to paint him the abusive father that strikes His children when He sees fit. But, God forbid they strike back. The first book, Genesis, recounts God's first years as a father. In the span of just a few chapters, He creates and destroys mankind.
[...] In this light, God's favor seems achievable through bribery, his rewarding and discipline contingent upon offered goods. Here, He implies that though He granted humans authority over everything on earth, the very nature of giving was to be reciprocated with the same level of love. After Cain murders his brother out of anger and jealousy, God banishes him, proclaiming, you till the ground, it will no longer yield you its produce. You shall be a wanderer, a fugitive on the earth'” (Genesis 4:12). [...]
[...] showcases His unyielding paternal quality. In Genesis, after God makes fertile trees and plants, he acknowledges the value of such a creation: it was; the earth produced growing things: plants bearing their own kind of seed; and God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:11-12). In the same manner, He displays contentment after designing living creatures: it was; God made wild animals, cattle, and every creeping thing and it was good” (Genesis 1:24-25). However, immediately after creating humans, God steps back with increased admiration and commands: Have dominion over the fish in the sea, the birds of the air, and every living thing that moves on the earth Throughout the earth I give you all the plants that bear seed (Gensis 1:28-29). [...]
[...] Fortunately, one of His children pleases him: however had won the Lord's favour Noah was a righteous man, the one blameless man of his time, and he walked with (Genesis 6:8-9). God makes a snap decision, tempered by fatherly frustration, to destroy the earth and abandon the family he spent so long building—with the exception of his favorite, Noah. In daydreams, exhausted parents slip into a world where they get to start fresh, but only God has the ability to make this ephemeral fantasy a permanent reality. [...]
[...] You have not withheld from me your son, your only (Genesis 22:12). In turn, God speaks to Abraham himself, elaborating the same sentiments: my own self I swear I shall bless you abundantly and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky All nations on earth will wish to be blessed as your descendants are blessed, because you have been obedient to me'” (Genesis 22:16-18). God reiterates the metaphor of the stars to recall and reconfirm the covenant He initially made with Abraham. [...]
[...] Your reward will be great'” (Genesis 15:1). The notion of being a symbolizes God as the ultimate fatherly protector. He repays Abram's righteousness with a vow that He will fulfill his wish to have a child of his own—a to [his] household” (Genesis 15:2). Leading Abram outdoors, God replies, up at the sky, and count the stars, if you can. So many will your descendants be'” (Genesis 15:5). This appears to be a genuine father-son moment where the father promises his son that his life will be full of achievements and his happiness as infinite as the stars. [...]
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