God and Emotions - Say That O'Rourke

The idea of emotions carries in it the word motion, of being moved by something or someone else.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/emotion states that emotion is: A mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes; a feeling.

This is not how many of us view God. For many, God is so beyond His creation that, not only is He transcendent, but His transcendence stops His ability to genuinely relate to us. God is constricted by His very being into a place, outside of time and space, where there is no past, no present, no future. Thus, is this place that is eerily similar to a Budhhistic trance, God cannot be moved, physically, intellectually, or emotionally. God is in constant meditation, thinking about thinking. It is from this cocoon of other-ness that God’s thoughts are emanated about creation, and that time and all activity is decided. God does not created dynamically or personally, but from from the stillness of isolated thought, and through impassioned, impersonal distance. God does not feel bad about suffering or sin, because he does not interact with it. He simply decides that the universe will operate this way, for His glory, and it does. Even in this, God does not experience the glory and praise given to Him, because to experience it would be to interact with it, which God does not do. In this view, love is not an attribute of God, because love demands an object to love, and God is in his cocoon alone. In this thinking can be no Godhead, since love is dependent upon another to love, and to be loved by. What I have described is not the God revealed in the Bible. It is the god of Plato, the god of eastern religions. I could go on, but I am getting bored with this line to thinking, as I am sure you are too.

The God of the Bible is a very personal God. He experiences pride in His work (Genesis 1). He is very intimate with his creation (Genesis 2). He wrestles with His creation (Genesis 6:3). He can be grieved by his creation (Genesis 6:5-6). He can be angered by His creation (Exodus 4:14). The book of Psalms is full of the reality that God is covenant-ly committed to loving his creation. When God described Himself to Moses, he said:

Exodus 34:6-7  And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,(7)  Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
In order to have those attributes, one must have an emotion behind them. If we modernize the language away from the KJV it would read: “The Lord, The Lord God, is compassionate, gracious, patient in suffering/slow to anger, overflowing in loving-kindness and stability, protecting and maintaining mercy for 1000’s, forgiving perversity, rebellion, and missing the mark, exacting justice toward the guilty, and all those who follow in their footsteps.”


That is God’s self description, and OT revelation. When prophesying of the one to come, the Isaiah is clear that he would be acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3). John 3:16 tells us that God so loved us, that He gave us Jesus. Jesus is not some thought from the mind of a God cocooned in a timeless, spaceless bubble, thinking and interacting predominantly with himself, void of any interaction, disinterested in the praise and thanksgiving offered, unmoved by the suffering of his children, unaware when they cry out to Him day and night, so sovereignly secluded that he simply wills the toils and pains of life into existence for His glory, and while lacking the ability to enjoy said glory. God is YHWH Elohiym, the covenantly relational, and sovereignly committed Creator Father who is so passionate about his children that Jesus came to die to save us from ourselves. Over the next few weeks we will be looking at different emotional descriptions of God, asking God to reveal to us the depth of His heart. I will tell you now, there will be more questions than answers.


How does God relate to a rejected parent? God almost aborted creation at the flood. What were those feelings like for God? God had to abandon His Son on the cross? God will be a father at the wedding of his Son (Revelation 19)? How excited will God be then? If God created the universe in 6 days simply by speaking, what will He create when They rejoice over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17)?