By Tohan Omorodion
That is a question that many of us have asked at some point in our lives, whether it was during a time of trouble or a time of rejoicing. We may ponder the vastness of the universe and think that there is no possible way it was all a coincidence.
This question has been asked since the beginning of humankind. The Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Babylonians, and many others thought there were multiple gods controlling the universe. Even some of the most recognized people today are wondering who God is. In the Story of God with Morgan Freeman, this question was explored. This may be a question that will be asked until the end of time. Who created all of us and why?
The Ancient Egyptians were some of the earliest people to ask the question of who is god. They came up with many different gods, each one being assigned some role pertaining to Egyptian life. Often times these gods were given roles based on physical things such as the sun, moon wind, water, animals, etc. Ra was the Ancient Egyptian sun god, and was the most important god in their pantheon. He would start his chariot ride across the sky each morning, entering the underworld at night until his rebirth the next day. The Egyptians would attach a divine persona on worldly and cosmic events, resulting in the creation of their gods.
The role of worshipping the gods was important in everyday life. The important gods like Ra, Horus, or Bastet were worshipped by pharaoh and the priests on behalf of the people. Pharaoh was believed to be the embodiment of the god Horus. When he died, his divine properties would be passed to the next pharaoh, his son. For the Ancient Egyptians, there were many answers to the question of who god is.
Similar to the Egyptians, the Ancient Greeks had a number of gods in their pantheon. These gods had similar roles to those of the egyptians. They were believed to intervene with the physical world often. These gods controlled different sectors of the physical world. Poseidon was in charge of the sea; Ares was the god of war; Zeus was the leader of the Olympian gods.
The gods of Greece had more interaction with humans than the gods of Egypt. Often times the gods and humans would have children known as demigods. Heracles, the Greek version of Hercules, was one of these demigods.
The Greeks thought of the gods as powerful beings living on Mount Olympus, who had a major influence in worldly events. They believed that great humans could even reach the gods if they were worthy enough. To the Ancient Greeks, the gods were physical beings with great power.
Today, God is usually defined by some of the major religions around the world. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism,and Judaism all have an idea of who God is.
The Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism) all believe there is one God. The God of the Christians and Jews is a personal god. They believe that they can have a relationship with God on a deep and personal level. He is someone they can turn to in times of trouble and someone who they can praise in times of triumph. They also believe that Yahweh, the name of the Judeo-Christian god, is the creator of the universe and has an ultimate will for everyone on earth. They believe him to be gentle and loving, but also just, which can make him seem harsh at times.
Buddhists do not believe in a god. Many people mistakenly think Buddha to be a god because people from his religion pray to him. However, Buddha was not a deity, and did not claim to be. They do not believe in a personal god. Hindus, similar to some of the ancient religions, have multiple gods they pray to. Each of their gods also has a specific area of specialty.
There are others who believe that the universe itself is god. All physical matter from the smallest atom to the biggest star are a part of this god.
So, the question still remains. Who is God? Well, ultimately that depends on the person you ask. The answer to this question has changed many times throughout the centuries and has varied from culture to culture. Some do not believe in a god while others believe in multiple. Some gods are distant and unattainable. Others are personal on a spiritual level.
We have all pondered this question before. Maybe it was right after a loved one died or after witnessing what seems to be a miracle. Ultimately, regardless of religion, we can all agree that there seems to be some greater being or force out there in this great universe.