Divine Embodiment Essay
In Old Testament Biblical accounts, God makes Himself known by His actual presence. This presence is exhibited in a myriad of ways. His manifestation, materialization or appearance in a tangible manner to the human senses is called a theophany. For example, when the Hebrews escaped from Egypt, God was with them. The average Hebrew of the exodus knew that God was present among them as there was a “pillar of a cloud” by day and a “pillar of fire” by night.
And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor …show more content…
THE DIVINE PRESENCE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
We have already discussed an excellent example of anthropomorphism found in Exodus 24:9-11where Moses and other leaders of the Hebrews not only see God but eat and drink with him. Other texts refer to the eyes (Deuteronomy 11:12), ears (1 Samuel 8:21), mouth (Micah 4:4), lips (Job 11:5), face (Genesis 32:25-30); voice (Deuteronomy 4:33), as well as the hand (2 Kings 3:15) and finger (Exodus 31:18) of God. A back is also said to be had by God:
And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.
Indeed, the Bible says that humanity is made in the image and likeness of God. (Genesis 1:26-27) A related term is “anthropopathisms” which are the emotive characteristics of God such as love (2 Corinthians 13:11), hate, anger, delight, regret, joy, sadness, compassion, jealousy (Exodus 20:5), vengeance, disgust, pity, and other such emotions. Indirect anthropomorphic expressions are also used. This can be illustrated with such examples as the sword (Jeremiah 12:12) and arrows (2 Kings 13:17) of the Lord, the house of God (Genesis 28:17) and the throne and footstool of God (Isaiah …show more content…
The prophet Moses is mentioned several times as communicating with God in such a manner:
And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.
Other references which describe the relationship that God has with Moses and using the same face to face terminology are found in Deuteronomy 5:4, Deuteronomy 34:10 and Numbers 14:14.
In addition to face to face contact, Moses was privileged to receive God’s commandments. These laws were carved by the finger of God on tables of stone.
And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God. (Exodus 31:18)
So from a small finger to the entire back parts of God; from face to face observation to bodily contact; the physical presence of the God of the Old Testament was seen and