The God Squad: How did God get to us, and how did we get to God?

Rabbi Marc Gellman, Tribune Content Agency on

Q: I hope you can give me the truth on how God came about. I am a very concrete person, so help me. Could he have evolved from the apes that walked the earth and learned from their experiences or another planet, or what? It can't be just a spirit who would tell Moses what to do. I hope you don't think I'm crazy to ask this question.

Thank you for your time. -- (From B)

A: Dear B, I love your question because it is not the normal question I receive so often, “Prove to me that God exists.” Yours is the question of how God revealed God’s presence to us so that we could understand it. Your question is also very timely because last week Jews and Christians celebrated in different ways the holiday of Pentecost which always falls 50 days after Passover. In Judaism, it is called Shavuot and it celebrates the revelation of God to the people at Mt. Sinai. In Christianity, Pentecost is seven Sundays after Easter and it celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus while they were in Jerusalem celebrating Shavuot. (Acts 2:1–31). So, this is a good time to think about God.

The two questions that birth religion in the West are: “Did someone make the world?” and the second is “What does that Creator want us to do?”

The first people who looked up into the night sky and asked “Who made this?” were the first theologians. The awesome beauty and order of nature must have filled them with the thought that some power is behind the natural world as its creator. We see this impulse to go from a world to a world-creator in Psalm 8:

8 (KJV) O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.


2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.


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